The Texan Book Club Questions Printable PDF
Plus Tips for Starting Your Own Book Club
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Book Club Groups
Starting a Book Club Group
Reading and discussing great books!
Decide on the following before starting
- How big or small will your book club be? Can book club members invite new acquaintances to join the book club along the way? Or will your book club center around a set number of participants or a set group of people?
- How often will your book club meet, once a month, twice a month, weekly?
- Where will the book club meet? Often, the person who picks the book the group is reading, hosts the book discussion for that book. Meetings can also be held in the same place every time, like a popular coffee shop, a favorite bookstore, a restaurant, or another public facility like a church meeting room, the rec center or common room of a condominium complex, etc.
- Will you serve food and beverages or just beverages? If you are serving food, will the hostess provide all the food or will it be a group effort like a pot luck. Each hostess can also plan a themed meal to match the book being discussed and ask each person attending to contribute a particular dish.
- When is the best time for your book club to meet: a morning coffee group, a mid-day lunch group, early evening appetizer and cocktail group, dinner group, or on the weekend?
- Who will lead the book discussion? The hostess of each particular book club meeting or will the same person assume the leadership role and lead every book club discussion?
- What type of books will your book club chose to read? Will the book club focus on fiction or non-fiction? You can base a book club on your favorite types of books like memoirs, best seller’s, or classics and then seek out individuals who enjoy the same type of books. Or maybe your book club will be centered around discussing poetry?
- Make sure the books you chose include book club discussion questions at the end of the book or that you can find book club questions for a particular book online. Otherwise, decide ahead of time who will make up questions for the group to discuss.
Choosing books for discussion
- Choosing which book to read, carefully. Point out to others in the group that one of the benefits of belonging to a book club is that it will introduce them to authors and books that are new to them and may fall outside their regular areas of interest. This is a good opportunity to challenge one another. Keep in mind that just because a book is a good read, it doesn’t mean it’s a good book for a group discussion.
- Put one person in charge of compiling a list. Assign each person a date to host the book club and/or choose a book for the group to read. Try to select at least three books, three months in advance and notify each member of the book club group via e-mail or a printed handout. Don’t waste your group meeting time discussing which book to read next.
- The best book club books for a group discussion are well written and explore basic human strengths and weaknesses. Look for three-dimensional characters in the book you chose, which deal with life issues that the individuals in your book club group can identify with. Characters forced to make hard choices under difficult circumstances and whose behavior sometimes doesn’t make sense provide good material for discussion. A good book for discussion will often present the author’s view on an important truth which sends a message to the reader.
- A good book club discussion centers around discussing everything the author didn’t say. In this regard, plot driven books like mysteries, westerns, romances, science fiction, or fantasy don’t provide much material for discussion. In genre novels, some mainstream fiction, and some fiction novels, the author explains everything for the reader, leaving little to discuss.
- Poetry gives a book club a lot of fuel for discussion because of everything the author doesn’t say. Novels with open or ambiguous endings make for rich topics for book discussions as the ending of the story remains unclear. Books that raise so many questions that you can’t stop talking about them, make the best book club discussion books.
- Remind the group that not everyone is going to like every book chosen by the group and that it’s okay.
Other book club group tips
- When reading a book for group discussion, jot down notes as you go and record page numbers you will later refer to. Analyze the theme, plot, and structure of the book. Get to know the characters of the book. Come up with a few other books to compare to the book you will be discussing.
- Before leading a book club discussion, go over the book club questions at the end of the book or find book club questions online. Choose 12-15 different questions that interest you to discuss. Some questions may lead to little or no discussion or the group may decide they don’t care for a particular question. Have extra questions picked out ahead of time. Another idea, to get the group involved, is to have each member pick out a favorite book club question or two and then compile a list of which book club questions will be discussed.
- Draw group members out and get them to expound on their answers. Especially, if someone simply states, “I did not like the book.” Ask for particulars on why each member likes or dislikes a book. Some of the best book club discussions center on books which cause mixed feelings about the book among the different group members.
- Read a brief online biography or two about the author. Read a few book reviews of the book. Don’t be afraid to bring up the books flaws and to criticize certain aspects of it. Steer the conversation back to the book itself when discussions about a particular book club question prompt stories of personal experiences or experiences in the news which relate to the books content.
- Provide each book club member with these tips, so they can read them before they chose a book or host a book club discussion.