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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?
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.
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!
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.