Are you a teen that loves to read? Are you interested in sharing your love of reading with your friends? If so, consider starting up a book club – it’s a great way to share your love of reading while socializing with your pals, and it’s fairly easy to organize. All you need are some willing bookworms, a choice novel and a venue to discuss and share your insights. Here are some tips to help get you started.
1) Invite Your Friends- Invite book club members who are eager to participate and can commit to the schedule.
2) Choose a Book- You may want to read something that is required for school, but a book club is also a great means of exploring literature that you might not otherwise discover. How will you decide what to read? One idea is to have each member present or pitch an idea at your first meeting and then go from there.
3) Location – Decide where you will meet to discuss. There are many options – in fact, you don’t have to physically meet at all – consider hosting an online book club and use an appropriate social networking tool to organize your group. You could start a facebook group or have discussions through email for example. Skype and Adobe Connect are also great tools for online conferencing. If you prefer to get together, a library, coffee shop, basement, living room or even a park are will work.
4) Schedule – How often will your book club meet? Weekly? Once a month? Before you start your book club discussions, it helps to determine how often you will meet.
5) Agenda – Whether you decide to host your book club online or meet regularly in person, it is important that you have an agenda for each session. It doesn’t have to be a rigid or highly structured agenda, but rather, an outline of what you would like to discuss, expectations of what members should have read, and activities or opportunities for everyone to participate.
6) Discussion and Follow up Activities – You might want to ask members to prepare questions or ideas for discussion before each meeting. This will help generate conversation, debate and critical thinking. Similarly, it is helpful to have some follow up activities for members to help reflect on what has been shared. For instance, you could ask your friends to post or share reflections on each chapter – these could include questions about the novel, expectations, likes and dislikes or character studies.
7) Have Fun- Hosting a book club doesn’t have to be stuffy or academic. Instead, have fun with your friends; bring in snacks to share, set aside time for socializing and maybe even consider watching a movie that relates to your novel together.
One last thing to consider: a book club doesn’t necessarily have to take place outside of school. In fact, in hosting an after-school book club, you can extend the invitation to students from every grade, not just your friends. It is an excellent opportunity to meet new friends and it would make for interesting and lively literary discussion.