Welcome to Live Free Creative, the podcast that provides inspiration and ideas for living a creative, adventurous, and intentional lifestyle. I’m your host Miranda Anderson and I hope that each time you listen you feel a little bit more free to live your life exactly the way you want to live it.
Hello, hello friends. Welcome back to the show. I am your host Miranda Anderson. You are listening to Live Free Creative, Episode 62: How To Start A Book Club.
You guys, book clubs are the best and I’m really excited to share some insider scoop on how to start a book club wherever you live, even if you’re not new to the area. I have moved a ton and started a book club in every new city that I’ve lived in. It’s a fun way to make friends. It’s a great way to stay up on your reading and to have great discussions and to meet together with people and just have this regular social time set aside for yourself and you don’t have to be new to an area to start a book club.
Maybe you have lived the same place for your whole life, but you aren’t part of a book club or you’re part of one and you think that you could do one that is a little different or maybe just change things up a little bit. So today I’m going to share all of my insider tips for starting a book club.
First, I want to start with a quick segment. This is peaks of the week:
Peaks Of The Week
Of course, of course. Because I’m talking about book clubs today, my peaks of the week are going to focus on some of my most recent favorite books, and I’m going to cover them in a couple of different genres.
So first, my recent most favorite self-development nonfiction book is called Deep Work by Cal Newport. All of these will be linked in the show notes at livefreecreative.co/podcast Episode 62, so check that out if you want to grab links and go straight to find out more about these books.
Deep work was the book that I assigned for the Self Development book club on my Patreon membership this last month. So September we read Deep Work. I had heard about it and was really excited to check it out. I got it from the library and then I started reading it and was very quickly, a little bit disengaged because the beginning was a little bit dense and I felt like I was reading a textbook a little bit.
But I pushed through because I knew there were like nuggets here and there, even though it felt a little dense in the beginning, there were nuggets that felt really, really fantastic. And so then as I pushed through a little bit and got a little bit more into it and understood the rhythm of his writing and the way that he was explaining things, I started to really feel my mind open up and just like have these light bulb moments and these new ways of thinking about things.
I was able recognize myself in what he was talking about. The book basically is sharing about how important it is to do deep work with (hence the title, right?). Deep work is work that is not quick. It’s not necessarily simple. It’s not something that you’re just going to like visit one time and move on from. This is deep, impactful, meaningful work.
The author recognizes, and sort of proposes, that deep work needs to have space and time and focus–in a way that we aren’t giving in our current society because we’re so busy and we have such fractured lives. We live online and then we go grocery shopping and then we are looking on our phones and then we’re taking out the kids and then we’re, you know, we’re kind of bounced around.
He talks a lot about how people are doing lots of shallow work. Lots and lots of Instagram posts being written and shared. Lots and lots of pictures on our phone. But where does that get us? Are we able to move ourselves forward with those types of quick and simple pieces of work or is our time better spent more impactful and meaningful when we choose something that we can really kind of go in on?
An example that I can think of from my own life just recently was with when I decided to write a book, instead of writing the several blog posts a week that I had been writing for years and years, I decided to stop writing blog posts, which I think that there’s some value to some of those easily accessible things as well, but I took a couple months off of writing regular blog posts and instead put all of that focus and energy and time into writing my book, which now is available as this long form. A lot more details, a lot more of a story, a lot more impact.
I think that my book is making a lot more of an impact on the people who read it than if they had come to my blog and visited one or two blog posts. Even if you aren’t working in outside of the home or, or even if you aren’t an entrepreneur, even if you don’t think you have specific big things that you want to be doing, I would venture that you actually do.
Even if you would rather for example, spend a good chunk of time creating your own personal history or writing in a journal or updating your families memory books, scrapbooks, even if they’re digital rather than all of the little tiny pockets of maybe less significant things that we do on a regular basis. I think that deep work is an interesting book to read just to be able to recognize ourselves where we lie on the spectrum.
He talks a little bit about digital addiction as well. And I thought that that was helpful. So anyway, Deep Work is number one on my peaks of the week, and I think that it’s a great read.
Number 2 is a really interesting and engaging fiction that I’ve read recently. My sister recommended The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and it was fascinating. I really, really liked listening to it, so I didn’t read it. This one I listened to on Audible.
(And just as a side note, if you’re not yet using Audible to listen to books, whether when you’re driving or walking or doing the dishes or mowing the lawn or whatever, you can get your first month of Audible free. That’s two credits free. You can head to the show notes and find the link there and sign up and you’ll get your first month of books for free. When you sign up, you can use the credits to get my book if it’s something that you’ve wanted to listen to, but you haven’t yet had a chance to grab it. You can also get The Dutch House or any of these other books that I recommend to listen to and start getting more books in because you’re able to listen rather than only have time to sit and read with the book in hand. I have to say though, I really do love reading with a book in hand, but I do both. I like to read and I like to listen.)
So one great thing about the Audible version of The Dutch House is that it’s narrated by Tom Hanks. Who doesn’t love that voice? It’s so familiar. Tom Hanks has such character in his voice and he does an incredible job narrating the book from the perspective of the the first person in the book is a little boy named Danny who grows up for his first few years in the Dutch house.
His mom leaves, his father ends up passing away. You go through this whole story of how he and his sister and the stepsisters and the stepmom and the real mom and the dad and all of the the interplay that happens in a family, in relationships, the expectation of the way that you think that your life is going to go, and then how it can very quickly, very unexpectedly derail into something totally different.
I thought it was fantastic. So I recommend that if you’re looking for an interesting is kind of a fun one to read around the holidays too, just because of the so many family dynamics I think makes it really interesting.
The last one I want to mention is I guess it’s self-development, but it’s sort of a memoir style, self-development. The book is written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Many of you probably have heard of it. I think it’s fantastic. This book is Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. And I’ve read it several times and the other night I was getting ready to go to bed and I like to read before bed. I didn’t have a current Audible book going, and I didn’t have a current book in hand that I was reading. And so I pulled this one off of my shelf and I am re-inspired reading it again.
We so often, I have a whole podcast that we’re going to talk about this, but we so often fit what we think of as creativity into this little tiny box. And we reserve it for authors and for actors and for painters and for poets. And we forget how creativity looks in everyday life. And in Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert enables you as you read and you see creativity from her perspective.
She invites you to see how creativity is at work in your own life and invites you to ask the question, Are you living with curiosity? Are you following these whims that you might have? Are you creating the life that you want rather than living the life that is simply sat down in front of you? It’s everything that I talk about and that I teach and that I share written so beautifully and so simply and also just in this really magical way.
If you have not yet read or listened to Big Magic, I want to recommend that one as my third peak of the week as we get started in this episode and I hope that you enjoy, check all of those out in the show notes.
Let’s move on, friends.
Main Topic: How To Create A Book Club
Okay. Okay. Now let’s get started talking about how to create a book club. Those of you who are in currently in book clubs or already have created book clubs might think this is really self explanatory. What could there possibly be to say about it?
But I know there’s a lot of people, especially when I recently mentioned that I had started a book club here in Richmond and we were getting ready for our first couple of meetings and I was really excited about it. I had a lot of people reach out and say, okay, so that sounds so fun. I’m not part of a book club. I would love to be part of a book club. How could I become part of a book club? How do I create a book club?
And so this is the answer to those questions. I have lots of experience and lots of friends who have started a book clubs as well. And so I think that there are lots of different factors to consider. So I want to walk you through these five factors, the five pieces that you might want to consider as you are getting started on setting up your own book club, wherever you are.
1. Who To Invite?
So first of all, I want you to think about who you would like it to be for? Are you hoping to have a book club with the people on your block, your neighbors so that you are able to spend more time with them and get to know them better? Is this a book club just for your friends, your social friends that you already spend time with regularly? You could have a book club with your sisters or family members. You could have a book club with your church community. If there’s people that you see regularly at church, maybe you want to have a book club with your coworkers or with people who go to the gym with you.
The first thing to establish is what group or what people do you want to bring together in this book club? Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you think, I want to have a book club with whoever wants to have a book club with me. Well, in that case, you get to just choose where you want to start. Think of a couple people, a handful of people or maybe even just one or two who you already interact with that you could reach out and ask whether or not they are in a book club and if they would be interested in being in one with you.
Here in Richmond there is already a book club that’s part of my church organization and so that is a really wide open format. It’s once a month. It’s kind of informal and I think it’s fairly well attended, but it also, because it’s open to everyone within the church, which is great, there is a potential for 60 people to be there. Also maybe five people will go and it’s managed in this really kind of wide way.
And while that’s fun and I do attend on occasion, I really wanted to have a book club that felt a little more structured and a little bit more personal. And so I set out to create a book club within my neighborhood, made up primarily of moms who have students at the same elementary school as my kids. My target sort of audience with my book club was women who are kind of like me, e.g., might have kids that go to the school, might live in this neighborhood, but might not already have a bunch of different social settings that they spend time in that would be open and willing to make some new friends and to make space for a book club in their lives.
Alot of this can go back to Episode 3, Making Friends As An Adult. If you haven’t listened to this episode yet, and you’re in a position where you’d like to make more friends, and a book club seems like a fun way to make more friends, but you don’t really know a lot about how else you want to approach this,you can listen to Episode 3, and that will be helpful to go through some other steps in general, like making friends as an adult type of things.
The idea that I had to start this book club came because I was at a PTA board social (I’m on the PTA board of the local elementary school), and I noticed that one of the other women in the PTA board was carrying around a book that I had recently read (Where The Crawdads Sing). I went over, I didn’t know her well, but I went over it and commented that that book was so good and she mentioned she was borrowing it from the person in the house and she also had just brought a different book to loan to the woman who was hosting the social.
It turns out that that other book was another book that I had just read, Educated by Tara Westover, and I said, “Oh my gosh, those are two of my most favorite recent books.” And I just said, “You must love to read the same types of books that I do.” And she said, “Oh yeah, it sounds like it. These have been great.” And so that was kind of that for the meeting. But then a couple of days later I thought, “Gosh, I bet that she would like to, if she’s not already in a book club, she would probably like to be in one because it seems that she likes to read.” And so I sent her a text message, just simple and said, “Hey, are you already in a book club? I haven’t been in one locally since moving to Richmond. And I’m hoping to start one with some other moms of the elementary school and maybe PTA moms, maybe just other moms at the school.”
And she reached back right out and said, “No, I would love to be in one. And I’m not in one yet.” And I had mentioned a couple other people from the PTA and she knowing them said, “I know that you know the so-and-so and so-and-so are in both groups already but we can ask them and we kind of started there.” So I started with the idea of who I thought would be a great group, things that we would have things in common but also different backgrounds and different stories and different experiences so that we could come together and share this first book club recruit.
And I then decided to reach out to other people that we knew. We decided that, and I will say I think that a great number for a book club is around 10 to 12 people more than that gets a little unruly. Less than that if a couple people can’t be there, feels really small. But I think that 10 for a neighborhood group or like kind of a local group feels like a really great number. And where we live, a lot of the homes are a little bit smaller and so we thought, you know, even like eight to 10 would be a good number.
So we both reached out to our respective friends, people that we knew. I reached out to a different neighbors on my blogs and different friends that I had from the school already and she did the same and we simply sent a text message that said, “Hey, we’re starting a book club and we would love if you wanted to join, let us know if you’re already in one or if you’re interested.” Super simple, non-committal. This isn’t like pouring your heart out and you also don’t really feel bad if someone can’t like it’s great if they can and if they can’t, that’s no big deal.
So funny enough, in this particular situation I reached out to about five people, maybe six and one of my friends was ready, willing and excited about it. Of the five that I asked and my first recruit reached out to about five or six people and four of her five were willing. So then right there we had seven people, which felt like a good starting place. So number one is to determine who you want to have a group with. Who would you like your book club to be comprised of and then start asking people, invite people to become part of the book club that you’re starting. Know that for some people it’s not gonna work and some people will be really excited about it and you will be sort of an answer to their prayers because they’ve like you have been wanting to be in a book club as well and you can start creating this group after you have a good idea of who you want to form this group with or kind of who your target group is. You can invite right after you decide kind of who you want to start with, or you can get through some of the other logistics before you start inviting people so people know what they’re getting themselves into.
2. How Often To Meet?
A book club, in order to function effectively, should have some guidelines. Sometimes it helps to invite people after you have a pretty clear idea of what the guidelines are. A good place to start is to decide when you’re going to meet. When you are the ones starting the book group, you get to choose, so you can initially just decide what works for you or if you and one or two friends get together and say, “Okay, let’s start a book group and invite more people.” Start with kind of an idea of how often you’d like to meet.
What is typical for a book group is to meet once a month, but that is not set in stone anywhere. There’s no like official association of book clubs that says you have to meet once a month. When I lived in Texas and had my young kids and I started a book club there with some friends who lived in the neighborhood and who also went to church with me. We decided that six weeks was more appropriate for our ability to read because of how many young kids we had between all of us. Everyone had at least two or three young kids, babies, you know, baby ages, months and years old. And so the idea that we could get through a book a month consistently felt like a lot for some of the girls. Now I read a lot and I read fairly quickly and so I usually get through multiple books in a month. But for that book club, I would save the book of the month until the last couple of weeks and we decided to meet every six weeks instead of once a month just to give a little bit more space for people to finish the books.
Another example of something different is that after I talked about my book club a couple of weeks ago on Instagram, I had one of my friends from when I lived in Alexandria (and started a book club up there in Alexandria, Virginia) reach out and say, “Oh my gosh, I remember sitting in your living room and doing book club and I really miss it.” She said that her book club right now is a little bit of a dud–I’ll talk about that in a minute–but she said it would be so fun if we still had a book club and I reached right back out and said, “Hey, let’s do it.”
We don’t live super close to each other anymore. There are about four of our good friends from when we lived up in DC together. We all lived in the same apartment complex and now we all live within about an hour and a half to two hours of each other, which is a little bit of distance for a monthly meeting. But I said, Hey, why don’t we do an quarterly book club meeting? And it’d be a really fun way to like get together once every quarter, see each other, have a book to discuss and also do dinner. And everyone agreed that that was a great idea. So I am going to start doing this quarterly book club with these friends who are good old friends and it’ll be, you know, kill all the birds, will get to read a fun book. We’ll get to have a great discussion. We’ll get to see each other. We’re going to spend time together. We’re going to have a dinner together and it’s just a great way to keep up with friends.
So don’t get stuck on the idea that you have to do every month. Every month is great. You also can adapt whatever logistics you need to fit your own needs and the needs of the people that you’re creating a group with.
In the case of my current regular monthly book club, we decided that it’s easier for everyone if we just set the day. So our book club meets on the second Wednesday of the month. Wednesday seems like a pretty simple day that most people weren’t going to be going out of town. There’s not like a Wednesday holiday. Usually it’s sort of the middle of the week and the second Wednesday fell well before a lot of the end of the month holidays coming up like Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, where we think we still will be able to have the meetings even though it’s closer to the beginning of the month. So the second Wednesday of the month, from eight to 10. We did a mini survey, made sure that that would work for people and went ahead with it by setting up a system for it. When you enable people to plan on it and to have it in their schedules months in advance, it’s a lot easier to make it happen than if you are switching the dates around all the time.
So I recommend if you can, to plan ahead the dates so you know what is upcoming and everyone has a better chance of being able to plan around it.
3. What Type Of Meeting?
The third thing you might want to consider or discuss as you’re getting started with the idea of setting up a book group or book club is what types of books you want to read and what type of meeting you want to have. For example, you could choose a specific genre. I know that there are book clubs all over the country that read just historical fiction or just the classics or just nonfiction. For example, if you’re a member of podcast plus on Patreon, our digital book club is a self development book club, so it’s non-fiction, self-development books that we read and discuss as a group online.
I have never in my regular, monthly book clubs had a specific genre. In most cases, we’ve decided that we wanted people to be able to read from all different genres and especially be able to read books that they might not have thought of themselves and so it’s kind of fun to choose different things. But if you want to focus on a specific genre and that appeals more to you than reading a variety of things, then you can decide that this is just a simple decision. There’s no right or wrong. Again, you get to make the rules and so you can choose what types of books you want to read.
The way that we’ve set it up in this current book club is that the person who hosts the book club meeting at their house also chooses the book for that month. So they choose the book, have everyone over to their house, they host the discussion and in our case they also provide the snacks and drinks for the meeting.
So it’s sort of like it’s your show, the day that you host, you’ve chosen the book, you have your questions, you prepare the simple snacks and drinks and you have people over. And then the rest of the months it cycles through. We have assigned each person a month and you cycle through the months and you just show up in the other months that you’re not hosting. You just read the book and show up. This is a pretty typical way to do it, but again, this isn’t the only way to do it. In some of my book clubs, we have voted on all of the books. So in my current book club, the person who hosts chooses the book and that’s the one that it is.
In my previous book club, we would get together once a year and all bring ideas about which types of books we’d like to read. We’d bring a list, we create a list and then we would vote on it. And then we divide the books up that we had voted on as a group and spread them out throughout the year so the person who was hosting it didn’t necessarily choose the book because the whole group chose the book. The person hosting was the one who brought the treats. I also have heard about book clubs where it’s done really differently where the person who hosts and leads the discussion, provides her house, but maybe some of the other people bring treats kind of like a potluck or like soccer games when you’re assigned to bring treats on a specific game so you can do it all different ways. Kind of depending on what works best for you. What seems most streamlined.
If you want more people to be involved each month, you know you have two people bringing treats, one person bringing drinks and then the person hosting and discussing or if you kind of it, it makes more sense or feels easier for one person to kind of take over for each month, which is what we’ve decided here.
There are also, again, lots of different ways to do food and beverage. Most of the book clubs, I mean every single book club that I’ve ever been a part of, had snacks and drinks as part of the social event because you’re hanging out for a couple of hours and it just makes sense. I have heard of, although I am not part of and haven’t ever been part of, a book club that provided an actual dinner and I’ve seen some really beautiful, incredible well planned dinners that are even themed that go along with the book. If you want to have a more elaborate book club like that, you can decide that ahead of time and then recruit the people who would like to do that as well.
I have a friend in Utah whose book club is very much like this. They have a theme, so the book, you know, let’s say it’s a Halloween-ish book, it’s like a murder mystery or something. Everyone will actually dress up and go to that house. The dinner is all like this gorgeous laid out table with decorations that sort of feel like the period and then the food also reflects something that happened in the book or the time period of the book or whatever. And so it can be super elaborate and that, in one sense, appeals to me so much and I think it sounds really, really fun to do something super elaborate like that and it would be fascinating to find a group that was also equally excited about doing that.
My current book club is a lot more low key and I hosted last month, and I just made a cheese and charcuterie board and made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and then had drinks for people and it was really simple. I thought it was still really nice, but it was just simple. It wasn’t themed to fit the book or anything. It was just snacks and drinks that we would enjoy so that we can spend time together. So all things to consider as you’re thinking about this third point, what exactly you want the meetings themselves to entail.
4. What Are The Guidelines?
Number four is important for a book club. It’s the discussion and the general communications. So there are a lot of book clubs that are called themselves book clubs, but then they get together and they chat the whole time and they don’t actually ever discuss the book at all. It’s more like a social club, which is great. That’s fantastic. But if you want to form a book club, then there should be some element of discussion of the book. If you want to form a girls night out club, that’s totally okay. That’s just an entirely different thing and neither one is better or worse than the other.
Just be clear. If you want to start a book club, it’s really important that it has an element of discussion of the book itself that is part of the fun. The incredible experience of being part of a book club is that you get to read a book and have all of your own thoughts and experiences that come up as you read it, and then you meet together with other people and you get to hear totally unique and different perspectives on how it was read, what they thought about the themes in the book, and you’re able to even get so much more out of the book than what was in the text. In the discussion, you’re able to create new ideas and have kind of a synergy. So you walk away–even with a book that you didn’t like it all–you can walk away from a book club, feeling really uplifted and inspired by the discussion itself.
So make sure that you’re clear with your guidelines that your book club is going to be an actual book club that you expect, and it will be expected of the group, that people have read the book when they come and that they’re prepared to talk about it on some level.
Naturally when you’re talking about topics within a book or themes or principles that come up in a book, you’re not going to spend the whole time talking specifically about the characters in the book. You’re going to apply it to your own experience and even bring in the political climate or current events or other things that relate are to book club discussions. So far here in Richmond, with this new book club, the discussions have been so fascinating because we are talking about the book and we’re discussing things that we thought about as we read it and things that are happening within the book.
The discussion goes so far beyond that and we’re getting to know each other and each other’s histories and each other’s families and where we’re coming from and and what are kind of used about things are. And it’s been really enriching and wonderful.
I think that a simple way to be clear about the discussion and the expectations for that are to just make sure that everyone when they join the book club gets a copy of the general book club guidelines. So the way that I did this was once we had a good idea of the people who are going to be regular members of the group who had said yes they could commit to the Wednesdays they were planning on being there, they were excited about it. I just put together a quick email and I will share the contents of the email in the show notes:
I’m not going to read the whole thing, but you can go if you want an idea of just like, “Okay, what should this email look like?” I share a welcome to the book club. Here are the members of the group with everyone’s name who has joined. And then just some general guidelines we’re going to meet on the second Wednesday of the month. Starting at eight o’clock. Meetings should probably go until around 10:00 PM, although we won’t kick you out.
And just on that note, I have to say that I have a friend who has very strict end times for her book club. So it is from eight to 10 and at 10 o’clock people leave like they don’t sit and hang out. That can be really helpful on a school night if everyone needs to get home and get sleep to have a really firm exit time if you want it.
And also if you don’t, it’s okay to say we’re not going to kick you out, but we’re expecting that it will be around that time. We plan on about an hour of discussion and then about an hour of social time. The host provides the food and the drinks and her home and then a quick follow-up of whose house was coming up next and what the book was. So I am the one who’s handling the email communication in my group that I formed here in Richmond. And I know that some groups like to rotate that. I think that it’s easy enough to pass it on later or you know, if I have a month that I can’t do it to, to ask if one of the other people would. I don’t mind though, sending an email once a month and saying, “Hey, remember, this is what’s coming up. This is where book club is.”
5. Get Started
So the very last thing I want to say–this is number five–is to just get started. I think so often we have so many ideas about what we want to do, but we can’t quite move ourselves from the thinking about it into the action part. If you have listened to Episode 50 Motion Vs. Action, go back and listen. Actually asking someone, sending a text, saying, “Hey, are you part of a book club?” It doesn’t have to be scary. The first couple people you ask might not be able to join a book club or might already be in a book club or might not have time for a book club right now. That’s fine.
You will be able to find people who want to be in your book club if you just ask. You just have to keep asking.
Benefits Of A Regular Book Club
There are so many benefits to having a regular book club starting with having an opportunity and sort of this like loose assignment to read a new book, a different book, the benefits of reading. I don’t think that I have to expound here because we all know how good it is for our minds and for our, uh, to read and to be understanding of other people’s experiences and stories. It was really fun in our very first meeting of my new local book club to hear that one of the women who joined was a little nervous because she hadn’t read a book since graduating from college.
She was really cute and open and also said, “I feel a little bit nervous. I haven’t been reading at all for like 15 years and I want to.” This was the first book that she had pulled out and read since graduating from college. And she said, “It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, I just was never really a super big reader. And it’s something that I have been able to avoid because there’s so many other things going on in life.” And it’s really fun now to have provided an opportunity for her to pick up a book and read something new. It’s so enriching.
Even though I read a lot on my own, it’s really, really fun and different when I know I’m going to read a book and then get gathered together in community. So reading is one of the first benefits. Gathering together in community is another huge benefit. We have so much time that we spend connecting with people online, but how much time do we actually spend with people in real life? And not only in real life just hanging out, but in real life.
Having a meaningful conversation, discussing principles, discussing relationships, discussing the types of things that books bring up in our minds. I of course think that eating is really fun and being able to prepare some fun snacks and having people over to your house. Even just the element of hosting and inviting people into your home, a relationship or a friendship goes from level one to level four. As soon as you have someone step over the threshold of your home–and there’s no like true levels here; I’m just sort of making that up–but the idea that when you have people in your own space, it’s like literally letting them into your life or literally letting them see you and be welcome in your space and be welcome in your life.
If you’re trying to make friends or you would like to have more friends or different friends or feel in community with people more often, inviting them in is an incredible way to get started and then having that reciprocated in a group like a book club where people come into your house and then you get to go into theirs and you get to experience their space and experience their life and partake of their hospitality. It’s a really beautiful community that is formed.
Okay. I want to just quickly review the five steps or five things to think about as you’re creating your own book club and then I just want to give you all the encouragement in the world that if this is something that you want to do, that you can do it and people are gonna love it and it’s gonna be the best.
- Who. Decide who you want to be part of this book club? Who is it going to be for? What are the people that you’d like to be in community with?
- When. When are you going to meet? Is it going to be a typical monthly book club? Is it going to be every six weeks or every other month, or are you going to have a quarterly book club with people who live a little further away or have a little bit trickier schedules like I am with some of my friends.
- Style. What are the specifics of your particular book club? Are you going to read from a particular genre? Are you going to have the host also provide the food? Is it going to be light snacks or is it going to be a dinner style? What type of discussion do you want to have you get to in number three, create all of the guidelines for your book club and then number four,
- Communication. Zone in on that discussion. Make sure that people understand that they should read the book and come prepared to share some insights on it. And consider the communication. How are you going to let people know? How are you going to upkeep? You know, is it going to be a Marco Polo group, is it going to be a text message group? Is it going to be by email? How are you gonna communicate what the upcoming book is, where it’s hosted and reminding people about it. Those are things you need to consider that management.
- Do it! Simple, simple, simple. Just get started. Invite, ask. Find someone, reach out, send a message. As you get started, you will bless other people’s lives who are seeking the same community, the same uplift, and the same opportunity to meet together in a group and discuss something meaningful that you are every single book club that’s out there. Every cool one that you hear about, every fun one that you see on Instagram, every single person who is part of one, that group had to be started by someone. If you’ve been sitting around thinking, “Gosh, I wish I could be part of a book club. I wish someone would invite me to be part of their book club.” Understand that you have that power. You don’t have to be invited to one. You can create one and be the person inviting others to be part of it.
I’m super duper excited for you all who have this little seed inside you that’s like, “Yes, this is something I want to do. I’m going to get started.” It’s so fun and so exciting to create a community and to find people who you can have a new level of relationship and friendship with. As you meet together and discuss all of the incredible books that you’ll read.
If you have any questions, please visit the show notes and leave me a comment. You can ask me also on Instagram when I share about this week’s podcast. Let me know if you have an obstacle or if you have a question or if you have a barrier. I also in the show notes, I’m going to link a couple of different blog posts that I’ve read about this topic of starting a book club. And there are some really cool book club ideas. So you can visit the show notes, livefreecreative.co/podcast and check those out.
A Couple Blog Posts:
How To Start A Successful Book Club, Everyday Reading
7 Tips For Starting A Book Club, Readers Digest
And if you do have a book club, if you’re already a part of one or if you start one, I want to make sure that you are aware that More Than Enough, my book has a book club discussion guide that we created specifically so that book clubs when they meet together have already some formulated questions regarding the book itself, that they can ask to invite discussion and reflection with your group. I’ll make sure that that is linked in the show notes. I want to invite you, if you’re already part of a club or when you start one, to choose More Than Enough for one of your book club books and get together with people and talk about creating a meaningful life, living with intention and understanding that where you are and who you are is already more than enough.
Thank you. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. I really appreciate all of you listening to Live Free Creative, and I love when you share on Instagram that you’re listening and what your loving about the podcast. I love when you send me messages and emails and tell me how you’re applying the information that I’m sharing and using it to make meaningful change in your life. It is incredible to know that something as simple as listening to a podcast can actually inspire you to make a real difference in your day to day experience.
If you haven’t yet joined Patreon, I want to make sure that you’re aware there is a Patreon podcast membership page available at patreon.com/livefreecreative. You can join at one of three membership levels. All of the information is there in Patreon, but if you join at the Podcast Plus member level, you get a bonus podcast episode every single month with a printable PDF download that accompanies that. It’s sort of like a $6 a month gym membership for your mind and your heart where you get some extra inspiration and an invitation to take it a little deeper and actually work it out on paper. That’s less than the cost of an order of Torchy’s Queso each month that you could spend to make meaningful change in your life.
Have a fantastic week, friends. I can’t wait to hear about all the book clubs that are popping up all over the world after this episode. I will talk to you again next time. Peace