Tips for Running a Book Club

1 WHAT SHOULD YOU READ?

Pick titles that will challenge your group and generate discussion. Things to look for:
Award winners
Good reviews
Classics
Canadian authors
Challenging topics
Different genres (graphic novels, science fiction, magical realism)
A mix of fiction and non-fiction

Make sure that the library has enough copies for your group!

2 SHOULD YOU HAVE A FACILITATOR?

Role of the facilitator:
Pick a member to facilitate each meeting. This can rotate. Without a facilitator book clubs devolve into social meetings and the book isn’t discussed.

Send out an email about a week before the meeting with related content (articles, interviews, videos) that will help stimulate conversation.

Before the meeting prepare a series of questions. It can also be helpful to flag passages from the book that can be read aloud from that either relate to the themes or as an illustration of the style. Create your own questions and use the internet to help you out.

During the meeting keep the group focussed and on topic. Throw out questions when discussion lags. Keep an eye on who is sharing a lot and who is quiet and try to balance the conversation by asking the quiet members for their opinions.

3 RECOMMENDED ONLINE RESOURCES

NOVELIST 
An ORL database that allows you to search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction titles to find author read-a-likes, book lists, and book discussion guides, and more.  Sign in with your library card number and PIN code.

BOOKCLUBS.CA 
Focuses on Canadian titles and includes reading guides, information about author events, and books in the news.

READING GROUP CHOICES 
Search for books by title, author or subject to find book summaries, author biographies and conversation starters for book club discussions.

READING GROUP GUIDES  
Includes reading group guides for many different titles.  There is even an option to request a guide!

LIT LOVERS 
Lit Lovers includes resources for book clubs and book lovers and has guides for 2,200 titles!