How do I Find a Book Group?

wiseGEEK Writer

People who enjoy reading often want to talk about what they read with others. A book group can be wonderful outlet for this type of expression. There may be many available in a local community and there are a few places to look for book discussion groups.

Bookstores often host book groups.
Bookstores often host book groups.

The top two places to look to find available book groups are libraries and bookstores. Public and sometimes private libraries may have several book group options, and avid readers should check with each library to see if they have ongoing groups, or people interested in starting one. Bookstores are another great place to look. There may a number of active book groups that are accepting new members.

Libraries frequently have book groups.
Libraries frequently have book groups.

Obviously a book group won’t appeal to all readers, since they may have a specific reading focus. Some have limitations on the number of members, to keep things small and conversational. People who lead a group usually want to make sure than any participants will actually read any agreed upon material, since failure to read the books tends to produce poor discussion. Thus, readers may need to chat with the leader of the book group to get in, or assure the leader/s that they plan to do the reading.

When a book group can’t be found at libraries or a bookstore, it’s time to check local newspapers in their announcements or events section. From time to time, people may place an announcement that they are starting a reading group. Keeping an eye on this to see if any come up is a good plan. It also might be worthwhile to consider starting a book group. People could either do so with a few friends, or put up a flier at a bookstore or library indicating interest in creating one.

Some really don’t want the organizational hassle of creating a book group, and if there is a university or community college nearby, there is an alternative. People can enroll in literature classes and suddenly be immersed in discussion or study of various types of literature. One thing about most of these classes is that they will require writing too. If people want to avoid this, they might consider auditing the class instead, so they participate in discussions without worrying about turning in papers or grading.

When time or transportation is limited, another option is to participate in an online book group. There are many of these available, and some may even feature chats with authors or may be tailored to a specific genre or writer. These can be a fun way to express a love of literature with people all over the world.

Readers can come together to discuss a book after reading it.
Readers can come together to discuss a book after reading it.

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Discussion Comments


My best friend and I started a book club two years ago and it has been a great success! We ran ads in our local newspaper and put fliers up around town. The library let us put fliers up on their doors. Within two weeks of starting the book club, we had five members. We ended up with 27 members and had to split the group into two different parts.

Our individual groups meet once a week. We take turns meeting at different members’ homes. We all pitch in with snacks and refreshments. We also take turns making book recommendations. Once a month, our two groups meet together at a park or some other public place that will hold us all. There, we have a book group discussion. It has been a lot of fun.

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