5 Book Club Ideas For Awesome Book Clubs

Book lovers generally agree that book clubs are pretty awesome. I’ve been a part of a ton of them, and almost always get a lot out of the experience. That said, it takes dedication from many members to keep one going.

So, if you’re looking for ideas of how to inject some life into your book club, trying to keep it from fizzling out or just want to take your already-amazing book club to the next level, then this post is for you.

book club

Screenshot from The Jane Austen Book Club

Have a fancy book club meeting

I’m all about low key activities (as you might expect from someone who writes a book blog for fun), but occasionally planning a meeting where you go out for something like a fancy (or even boozy) brunch can be a lot of fun.

Just make sure to pick a place that’s not too loud and has seating so your whole crew can sit together. Places with long tables are good, or just call ahead and ask if they can stick some tables together for you! If you live near wineries, planning your next book club meeting there (make sure they have seating first) can be really fun as well!

Play a literary board game at your next meeting

I posted a list of literary board games a while back, and it sounds like from the comments that a lot of book lovers are also board game lovers, like me. There’s a ton of great games, and you can even choose to read a book related to that board game for your next meeting.

book club tshirt

Come up with an official book club name and make t-shirts!

This one is kind of cheesy and is probably better for book clubs that have been going on for a while. But t-shirts are fun, and services like Printful will let you do no-minimum orders of custom printed t-shirts for around $15-20 per shirt. Plus, it’ll be a cute memento!

Try an audiobook for your next book club pick

This is great for book clubs where people don’t know each other as well. In addition to dissecting the book itself, find out about how your members chose to listen to their audiobooks to get a sense of their daily lives! Books like Becoming by Michelle Obama or Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered are great on audio and timely book club picks.

If you have members who don’t want to buy the audiobooks, they can always sign up for Audible’s free trial period. They’ll get two audiobooks (plus two audible originals) during the trials, which they can keep even after they cancel. Just don’t forget to remind each other when the 30 days are almost up.

Plan a book club field trip!

Planning a literary outing can be fun for everyone, especially if you’re like me and have a bunch of friends who aren’t as into books and are generally reluctant to do this type of stuff. If you live near something like SF’s Center for the Book, you can go learn about book binding or take a class together. Other options are attending an author’s lecture or visiting a local literary landmark!

826's Tenderloin Center

826’s Tenderloin Center

Volunteer for a local literacy organization!

What better way to celebrate your love of books than by helping to spread the cheer to future book lovers? Libraries or organizations like the Dave Eggers-founded 826 National have branches in a lot of major cities (826 Valencia in SF, 826Chi in Chicago, 826DC in Washington D.C. and so on). I know 826 often has groups of corporate teams come in to volunteer together, so they’re well set up for accommodating group volunteering.

I volunteered with them for years and I can vouch for them being really well run and easy to work with. Plus, they have fun programs and they operate a lot of really important services, which as free after school tutoring, free college essay help for kids, free in-school programs for low-income schools, etc.

Hope this list helps to inspire your book club to new heights! If you have more ideas or examples of great activities or ways to bring new energy to a book club, please drop a comment below!

Happy book clubbing!

P.S. Also see the best book club picks for 2019 and great summer reads + wine pairings.

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game