Why a book club?
I love discussing books. Even more so with other people.
When J.K.Rowling was still writing the Harry Potter series, my friends and I would go to the bookstores for the midnight release events and then race home to see who could finish the book first. Afterwards we would dissect each plot twist and speculate what would happen next. Sometimes we would just share a good cry. (I'm looking at you Order of the Phoenix!)
When the Harry Potter series ended, I missed my reading community. As an adult I've always had competing priorities: a demanding job, volunteering, my own writing, and now my son. I needed a book club that suited my pace, and after years of not finding anything suitable, I decided to create my own.
The "Savour the Story" structure came about organically and quickly. I put the call out on Social Media and within two days found other like-minded people who were excited to join. I realized that if so many people close to me wanted to be in this type of book club, then there must be many more like us out there. So, I decided to share the concept for anyone, anywhere to use.
How to set up your club in 4 simple steps:
Step 1: Find People
Text your friends and family or put out a call on your social media for anyone interested in joining a book club. I wanted to read fiction, so I made that my condition in my call out: "Who wants to start a book club with me, preferrably to read fiction?" Your book preference might be biographies, or science fiction - the sky is the limit!
*Hot Tip: Try to limit yourself to 1 or 2 conditions in your initial call-out because people will be turned off if they see a long list of rules!
Step 2: Pick a Place
You need to decide whether you want to host an in-person book club (not advised during global pandemics)or a virtual one. Virtual meetings allow us to connect with more people, from wherever they are on the planet.
*Hot Tip: If you choose virtual meetings, make sure your group members are comfortable with the technology chosen. Set up a time to teach anyone who needs help with the technology, before the meeting starts.
Step 3: Pick a Time
Take a poll to determine when the best time to meet is and how often you would like to meet. My club chose to read one book over the course of two months, but we still meet monthly. The first meeting is to discuss the first half of the book, while the second meeting is to discuss the second half, as well as the book in its entirety. This is your club, you can choose to read 1 book a month, 1 book a quarter (4 books a year) or any other frequency you can think of and find others to go along with. There are no rules!
*Hot Tip: Remember to keep time zones in mind when you have participants from different locations. Make sure the options are clear for everyone!
Step 4: Pick a Book
The fun part! The reason you're starting a book club in the first place. You'll need to decide how your club will choose books and in which order they'll be read. With my club, we decided to each have a turn picking a book, so we randomly selected a number to determine who would go first. We also held an introductory meeting where we discussed our favourite authors and genres, that way when we pick a book, we can hopefully choose one that everyone will enjoy, but not necessarily have chosen for themselves.
*Hot Tip: When it is your turn to choose a book, present 2 or 3 options in case anyone has read one of the titles already.
Here is a free toolkit to help you set up your own book club, including:
- Logos + Graphics
- Set-up Checklist
- Reading Schedule
- and more!
Share your book picks, reviews, and club photos on social media using #savourthestory and then come join the conversation over on Instagram.