Whether you’re new to running a book club, or have been meeting with your club for years, it’s important to keep the discussion fresh in order to keep everyone interested in reading the books month after month. There are lots of different things and new ideas you can introduce to your book club, whether it’s to do with the books you choose, the activities you have at your book club, or even what you serve for refreshment during the discussion. Here are our top ideas for book clubs:
1. Theme your food and décor around the book
Reading something set in France? Why not serve French cheese and wine at your book club meeting?! Reading a novel set in south east Asia? Try making your own Asian-style street food – there are plenty of simple recipes online. You could even try serving a food or drink that’s served in the book itself – Chocolat, anyone?
2. Extend the book
Ever read a book and felt like you were left hanging about what happened next in the characters’ lives? You could try imagining your own futures for all your favourite characters, writing them down, and sharing them at your book club meeting. It’s a great way to ignite debate and discussion about effective characterisation.
Imagine your book club book is being made into a movie. Who would play each character? Where would the movie be shot? What kind of director would you choose to direct it? This is a fun and interactive way to discuss how you imagine the characters looking, as well as their mannerisms and style. It can also be fun to revisit with your club if your book is a bestseller which does eventually get made into a film.
This is one for the brave – especially if you’re reading a fantasy novel or a period piece! Arrange with your club to arrive in the costume of the time and place in which your book was set. This is easy to do if the book was set any time in the last fifty years. You could even meet up with your book club members to check out vintage stores and op shops before the meeting.
5. Write to the author
Want to know more about the process that the author went through to write your book club pick? Why not write to them?! Visit your author’s website or look at the ‘About the Author’ page in the book for contact details. The club can vote on a question to ask them, ask for a discussion question direct from the author, or if it’s a local author and you’re feeling lucky, you could even request a Skype chat or a visit!