five tips for starting a book club | olive june

five tips for starting a book club

so excited to talk about one of my favorite things in my life today:
book clubs!
if you follow this blog or my instagram feed, you know i love my book clubs. at this point, i have been a part of one book club for five years {in july} and another one in our new neighborhood for two months. it's been so nice to develop friendships and a community with my longer one and meeting awesome women in our new hood has been just as awesome.

part of the “success” (the longevity and awesomeness) of our book club is due to the fact that it is simply filled with some truly remarkable women- many have become dear friends to me. they are interesting, fun, and welcoming to others. another one of the contributing factors has been that not only do we talk about the book- but we share parts of our life with one another in the process.
some of you have asked about my book club over the years and so i thought i would share my five tips for keeping and maintaining an amazing book club!
enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions!
enjoy some photos from our march book club- which was my first night hosting in willow!
{sorry the quality/lighting isn't my best but wanted to share a few details- the book was still alice}

1. find a great group of people: 
the people in the group can make or break it - so make sure you find people who are interesting, trustworthy, respectful, and honest. let's be honest, reading books can make personal things can up and can make you can feel vulnerable sharing- so make sure you are surrounded by people that you feel completely comfortable around. i feel like you can be complete strangers or close friends {i have experienced both so far and love them for different reasons} and have a successful club. having people with different perspectives and beliefs can make conversations and the night much more livelier- so i recommend this. books tend to focus on politics, morals, arts, social aspects, religion, etc. so having a group of people with different opinions and thoughts can make it more interesting. 
2. choose a way to effectively communicate: 
we usually e-mail in advance {usually the next hostess and about a month out/right after the last meeting} but have also found that google docs can be a great resource. we have one set-up with everyone's address, books we have read/upcoming book options, recipes that people loved... it's a great way to share info without always sending emails {which personally never bothers me- but i know it can be a lot sometimes and this is an ideal solution}
3. answers some critical questions up front: 
some things i would consider discussing before {maybe at a brewery or a fun bakery!}
- will the group be open or closed to new members?
- what happens if someone doesn't read? 
- what book will you read?
- food/drink schedule?
- where will you meet?
- how will you spend your time?
- how often will we meet?
4. choose interesting books/a variety of genres:
*because it's all about the books. right?! ♥
one of my book clubs allows the hostess to choose the book and that person supplies the food and drinks while in the other one we all choose the book together and everyone brings a dish/bottle of wine. both work well - it's just something to think about at the beginning {not that you can't change it down the road!} mixing up the genres can help meet the preferences of all members - i love non-fiction and tend to pick a memoir - while others prefer fantasy {not usually my cup of tea- but it forces me to venture out!}

here are some books that i recommend considering:
5. and get started... read, read, have some wine... make some traditions!
some of the traditions we have created:
 - every christmas we exchange ornaments and usually pick a more light-hearted book for december/meet earlier in the month. in 2013 we read a cookbook and everyone created one dish from the book to share {again the google doc worked great for this- to avoid duplicate recipes}
- for our anniversary every july we try to mix things up. last year we went to breweries and then ended the night at amelie's french bakery for some treats. nothing says love like a book, a flight of brews, a pastry, and friends. 

- if a book is made into a movie, we often go see it together and then meet somewhere after {usually dean & deluca} to discuss.

- food traditions: i almost always have peanut butter m & m's when i host {see photo above!} and another girl used to love to make some good ole' bagel bites. always a good idea.
another idea i love:
- a yearly book club campout - how fun would it be to dicuss over a fire and s'mores

are you in a book club?
do you have any fun traditions within your group?
how does your book club run/any advice
... i would love to hear...
 linking up with:
Karli at September Farm
Astleigh at Hill Collection

a friendly reminder- next friday 4.24.15- is our third french press morning 
join us!  

lastly see yesterday's post for 50% off ads and lauren's beauty uniform!
come say hi - instagram . facebook . twitter . bloglovin


  1. Hi! Found you the Peony Project - such a fun post!

    I started a book club 4 years ago and then after we moved, have recently joined a new one. These are great tips. We used a hard to navigate site for awhile to stay in touch and then switched to a closed FB group which worked way better and was fun for sharing links about stuff we would talk about and planning meetings.

    THought I'd share two of my all time favorite book club books:
    Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
    The Geography of Bliss

    Love your site!
    Lindsey Smallwood

    1. hi lindsey! so glad you are here and thank you for stopping in and for your kind words. it means a lot to me! i love your advice- a fb group is a great idea! thank you for sharing!! and i want to read both of those!!! thanks for sharing those - love the peony project and this is why! can't wait to follow you! xo

  2. Hi! I found your lovely blog on the Peony Project. I am a flight attendant and enjoy reading good books. I would love to start a book club for flight attendants. Your post is so helpful!

    1. thank you so much! i really appreciate it and am so glad you enjoyed and hope it helps! you def. should start one!! keep me posted! enjoy your day and weekend- xo

  3. Awesome post! I've always thought being in a book club would be so much fun! You really nailed all the great ideas!

    1. thank you, christina!! have a great day and start one up- you will love it!!

  4. I love your tips! You've inspired me to start one with my gals here! We tried a book club a few years ago with friends at school and it didn't go well. We only met once and barely discussed the book. But I'm bound and determined to make one work this time! Plus, it'll be nice to have some regular adult interaction and other topics to discuss besides my kid. I feel bad for the hubs every night when all I have to talk about is how long/well Max napped, what we had for lunch, and how many times I had to change his shirt due to all of his drool. ;o)

    1. yay!!! you will love it rachel- can't wait to real all about it on little blue sailboat! ♥ it's going to be amazing. xo

  5. I just picked up the Glass Castle from the library & it's on my to read list for the weekend :) I loveee book suggestions so thank you for sharing those!

    1. it's one of my favorites!! you will love it. enjoy and thank you for stopping in! you are so welcome- xo

  6. Stopping by from the linkup. I'm in a book club and after seeing this, you've inspired a serious revamp. Great post!

    1. hi deena! thank you so much for stomping in and glad you liked it! best wishes and excited to check out your blog! xo

  7. I would love to be a part of a book club. How wonderful to be in one for 5 years! That is awesome!

    1. hi catherine! you should start one- i think you will love. and yes, i can't believe it's been almost five years!! thank you for the love. xo

  8. I started a book club at my high school (it's still going!), but it would be cool to start one now that I'm out of it... hmmm... Great tips, though! Very true about the environment and community. We had to keep a tight leash, but everyone was really great about being respectful! (: It was fun.

    1. that's awesome, kiera! and you should start one!! :) you will love it. thank you for stopping in and have a great day!

  9. I'm joining a book club this summer I'm passing this along to the gal who is starting it, thanks Nelle!

    1. yay! so excited for you- enjoy! and you are so welcome! xo