Married in the suburbs with kids? Suddenly realize you don't go out with your girlfriends anymore? Sure you may still meet up every few months (or six) for the odd drink, but that elusive casual meet-up is often hard fraught, preempted by a children's crisis and other commitments that get in the way of a fun time with the girls. That's where a book club comes into place!
A book club gives shape and meaning to an otherwise amorphous hangout session. After all, you are meeting to discuss an important book, not just to drink wine and have a few laughs. And while the latter is of the utmost importance to the joy and energy of the group, meeting around the premise of a book club gives it structure.
So where do you start? First of all you have to be at the right time within your own life. Can you commit to meeting a group once a month? Can you commit to reading and finishing a book? If the answer is no, then you may want to think of a more casual group with less commitment. I remember trying to start a book club years ago with women who all just had babies recently. Needless to say, that club never made it off the ground as the members had more pressing priorities. Which leads me to my next point — get the right members.
I brought the idea to a couple of girlfriends as we were all enjoying a beautiful sunny day together. Since both women and myself have some free time during the day, this was a perfect group to be receptive to the idea of launching a formal book club where we meet during the daytime. They invited 3-4 friends each as did I, and a group was formed.
Look for members who share a common interest and will have similar availability to you.
Once the group is set, think of a name for the club. Google is a great place to start, and perfect to inspire you with ideas. Then send out an e-vite to your prospective members with your new group name to help you keep track of acceptances and regrets. Also begin to think of how the first meeting will go and how you will get the members to talk about themselves so that everyone gets to know each other. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. Them we followed up with a game I created called "Books & Experience" where we share how we have been inspired by a book we have read and how that relates to something we have just learned from something shared by someone in the room.
It was a great ice-breaker and led us to discover which kind of book we were most interested in reading. The group selected The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. It is a powerful story of female struggle and empowerment.
As for decor to set the scene, I set our dining table with several small center pieces to create a whimsical summer theme. The small vases were purchased from Dollar Tree and were offset by beautiful sunflowers, daisies and purple hibiscus from our garden.
Our book club turned out to be a great event and loads of fun!
We are all looking forward to our next meeting and are all super excited!
If you would like to start a book club and have any questions or if you already have one going leave me a comment on how you got it started!
Until Next Time!