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How to organize a book club in college

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Reading, despite the development of technology, is still a quite popular activity among youngsters. It is fascinating due to the fact that people have a chance to look into a fantasy world, experience emotions, form an outlook. It may sometimes happen that reading becomes less enjoyable than usual. Of course, there are some plots you just want to discuss with somebody.

For this reason, there exist various book clubs. However, if there is none at your college, you can start one of your own. In this article, we will discuss several book club ideas that you might want to use.

What is a book club?

This is a group of people that meets regularly to discuss either one book everybody has read or several ones to share their opinions and ideas. At such meetings, you have a chance to get acquainted with people with a similar outlook as yours and, consequently, make friends. Running such a club allows you not only feel interested in reading but also develop communication skills as you will have to express your feeling regularly. The participation in the book club can also help you generate ideas for your academic assignments, so you won’t have to wonder ‘who can do my assignment for me?

Like any other club, there should be specific book club rules. So, first of all, you should agree on time and place of meeting (be it a library, canteen, or campus). Pick a topic of your future discussion. Choose a book, or several books (depending on a topic). Then, you should ensure that everyone has got a copy of the chosen book. Make a list of who reads what. Actually read the selected book. Everyone should be prepared to lead the discussion. The list is, of course, not exhaustive, but these rules will do for a start.

Also, you should not be late for book club meetings and be prepared to meet new faces. It would be a sound idea if you had some spare time for an icebreaker. For example, you could propose your members to introduce themselves and describe the last book they read, whether they liked it or not, and why. The whole procedure should take up to 15 minutes and then you should proceed to the topic of your discussion.

So, for a book club you need:

  1. Members
  2. Place and time of the meeting
  3. Interesting topic
  4. Copy of a book

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How to run a book club discussion?

The most important precondition is that everyone has read the book(s) you’d previously agreed upon. Then, as a leader, you should take into account that some people may interrupt others. In such cases, don’t be rude, but ask them politely to remember the thought they have and promise that you would get back to it later.

However, be ready to interrupt somebody who talks for too long. The main idea of a book club discussion is that everyone has a chance to express their opinions. You should also ensure that everyone is on the same page, so you should say something like “Let’s get back to the beginning of chapter five.” By doing so, you will make sure that the discussion proceeds as planned.

After you are finished with the discussion, it would be a good idea to ask what the members did not like about the book, what they expected from this or that character, whether the plot developed as they imagined or maybe there were some unexpected plot twists. In such cases, literally, anything book-related will do. After that, make some sort of a conclusion, summarize what you’ve learned and what would you like to know more. Remember that when it comes to art, there is no correct opinion, every idea has a right to leave. So your job as a leader is to ensure that everyone is heard. Finally, you should agree on the topic of the next meeting, its time and place. Also, do not forget that everyone has a copy of the book.

Book club meeting ideas

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Having gained a basic understanding of how a meeting should be organized and managed, it is worth mentioning some book club meeting ideas that have the potential of making them even more fascinating.

For example, if you discuss Romanticism as a genre, it would be a good idea to have a costumed meeting. You could also make somewhat similar to a tea party of the Victorian epoch. Such moves will help you and other members dig into the atmosphere of those times better, and your discussion is likely to be more productive.

In case you discuss some popular writer, and there is his monument nearby, you could also visit it and discuss his/her biography in greater detail. A good idea for a discussion would be: “What did he/she do that he/she was honored like this?” Discussing a book in the historical context is always good since you might have a better understanding of what influenced a writer.

Conclusion

To summarize what has been said, it is worth mentioning that reading clubs are essential to promote the interest in reading. Also, if you feel like that you want to discuss books you read, it would be an excellent idea to either join a book club or to start one of your own. All you have to do to make it is to find at least 2-3 people that are equally interested in this. Then, as time goes, your club may be joined by new people and your discussion will get even more fascinating. Remember the list of book club rules or even invent your own ones! The most important thing that must not be neglected is that everyone has to read the book of their choice. Otherwise, the discussion will be spoiled.

Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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