Starting Your Own Book Group
Reading books has always been a popular way to spend time, relax, and increase your learning. Emily Dickinson said, "There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away."
Many people are no longer just reading by themselves but are interested in forming book discussion groups. The following information may help readers who are forming a new group or veteran book group participants.
Forming a Book Group
Reading Group Choices (resources to enhance the shared reading group experience)
Getting Started - Before (or at) your first meeting, discuss:
- When, where and how often your book group will meet
- How long each meeting will last
- Whether you will serve refreshments
- The role of the leader (or if you will have one)
- Who develops the discussion questions
- What types of books will you read and discuss
Selecting Titles to Discuss
It is good to select a list of your group's books well in advance. You don't want to have to spend time at each meeting deciding what to read next. Remember to pick books with a lot to discuss -- not just a 'good read.' Look for books with complex characters who are forced to make difficult choices under difficult situations.
Want to use library materials? Select a title from one of JMRL's Book Club Kits and get 10 copies plus discussion questions.
- The readers' advisory guide to nonfiction / Wyatt, Neal.What to read : the essential guide for reading group members and other book lovers / Pearlman, Mickey, 1938-Read it and eat : a month-by-month guide to scintillating book club selections and mouthwatering menus / Gardner, Sarah.
Where to Locate Discussion Questions
Literary Reference CenterInformation on authors and books including book reviews and literary criticism
- Book Discussion Center: online discussions, publisher guides, discussion guides for kids, and fuides for selected titles
- Bookbrowse: reading guides close to 400 guides are available.
- Publisher websites provide questions or reader's guides for books published by them:
Join a Book Club at JMRL
JMRL hosts a wide variety of book clubs for all ages. Here are a few that are coming up. To find the complete list of book clubs meeting at JMRL, check the calendar.