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Join the Club!. Tips and Tricks for running A successful book club. Presented at NLA 2012 by Rebecca Colbert and Debbie Tinsler. Ask the big questions . Who? Friends? Co-workers? Church? Moms ? Library patrons? When? Morning, noon, night, weekdays, weekends Where?

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Join the club

Join the Club!

Tips and Tricks for running

A successful book club

Presented at NLA 2012

by Rebecca Colbert

and Debbie Tinsler

Ask the big questions

Ask the big questions

  • Who?

  • Friends? Co-workers? Church?

  • Moms? Library patrons?

  • When?

  • Morning, noon, night, weekdays, weekends

  • Where?

  • Library, public place, home, online?

What types of books

What types of books?

  • Fiction,

  • non-fiction,

  • children’s,

  • classics,

  • genres?

Lay the groundwork

Lay the groundwork

  • Will you feed them?

  • What will you name your group?

  • How often will you meet?

  • Monthly?

  • Bi-monthly?

  • Hiatus?

  • Summers, holidays?

Marketing spreading the word

Marketing:spreading the word

Shout it out

Shout it out!

Spread the word!

Use the Internet!

Shout it out with

Shout it out with…

  • Flyers

  • Bookmarks

  • Newspaper listing

  • Word of mouth

  • Displays

Reach out and invite book lovers

Reach out and invite book lovers

  • Email

  • Facebook

  • Evite

  • Twitter

  • At the public services desks!

Online book clubs

Online book clubs


  • Chat in real time, post in twitter or facebook, use webcam with comments, or blog together!

  • You can run your book club totally online.

  • Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Goodreads offer platforms.

Choosing the books

Choosing the books

Ask around

ask around

Network with readers, librarians, patrons to find the best books for your club. A trusted reader friend can double your book choices!

Go find the books

Go find the books!






Consider these

Consider these…

  • Narrative Style – first person, plural points of view, literary vs popular.

  • Geography – international authors and settings, regional variety.

  • Genre – thrillers, romance, westerns, fantasy, legal dramas, historical.

  • Variety – keep it interesting!

Choosing the right questions

choosing the right questions

Let your fingers do the walking

Let your fingers do the walking!




Introduce the author

Introduce the author

  • Research the author’s biography to provide context and an introduction to your discussion.

  • Publisher’s and author’s websites, Biography Resource Center, Literature Resource Center, and the almighty Google can help you find information about the author to share!

  • Find author interviews online to “hear” their voice and perspective.

The first meeting

The first meeting

  • Introductions

  • Sign In Sheet

  • Prepared questions

  • Refreshments

  • Comfortable Chairs

  • An Open Mind

Ask careful questions

Ask careful questions



What did you like about the book?

Why did you identify with a specific character?

Why ____________?

  • Did you like the book?

  • Who was your favorite character?

  • Would you recommend it?

General discussion questions

General discussion questions

  • How did you experience the book? All at once or was it hard to get into? How did you feel reading it?

  • Is the book plot driven or character driven?

  • Whose story is it? The protagonist or someone else’s?

  • Did you relate to/feel empathy for any of the characters? Who and why?

  • What is the book’s structure? Does this work best for the narrative?

  • Was the ending satisfying?

  • What did the book leave you wanting to know?

Discussion tips

Discussion tips

  • Let silence speak.

  • Have a go-to discussion person.

  • Leave the book!

  • Respect all voices; there are no right or wrong answers.

  • Refrain from teaching the book.




Have fun

Have fun!

Readinggroupguides com

Www litlovers com

Facebook blurb

Facebook blurb

Www goodreads com

Youtube book club

Youtube book club

Library webpages

Library webpages

Real goodreads book club posts

Real goodreads book club posts

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