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Thinking of Starting a Book Group?

Book Groups are great fun, but with so many books to choose from and potentially so many different personalities attending the group, there are a few things to consider to ensure it all runs smoothly.

I love reading so I thought it would be fun to join a book group, so we set one up. Well, I say a book group, it was actually a group of female work colleagues and it consisted of us eating at Podium at the Hilton (nice restaurant if you’re wondering) and drinking at numerous other wine-drinking establishments around Manchester.

Unfortunately, I can’t actually say we discussed in depth, much more than the *ahem* “highlights” of Fifty Shades of Grey! That’s definitely not how you organise a book group. So, where did we go wrong? Aside from the obvious fact, that we did not actually discuss the books properly as we planned.

The main problem was the lack of suitable venue. Firstly, think about a suitable place to hold your book group. This should be somewhere quiet and where you can talk freely. It may be that a local pub works for you (ask permission first), but it won’t necessarily be private. To start with, maybe take it in turns to hold the group at each others houses. 

Think about the frequency you will meet? For this, you need to think realistically how often will people be able to attend HAVING READ THE BOOK? People lead busy lives, so it may be fine sticking to a commitment to meet weekly/fortnightly, but will everyone have really read the book? For me personally, once per month is ideal.

What books you will read? This will be a great area for discussion, if your book group is not targeted at a specific genre. One way to organised the initial reading list, may be to each pick say 5 ‘wishlist books’. If there are 5 of you, then that is potentially 25 books to get you started with straight away.

Further suggestions for books can be found at for example, The Waterstones Book Group, Goodreads, or just ask your local library as they are always keen to help.

This was our initial reading ‘wish list’:
(as you can see there are a quite a few different types of books in there)

Anybody Out There
Miss Garnets Angel
The Kite Runner
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Round Ireland with a Fridge
Water for Elephants
Pigeon English
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Secret Life of Bees
To Kill a Mocking Bird
The Sense of an Ending
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Daughters of Shame
The Great Gatsby
The Lifeboat
The Tenant of Windefell Hall
A Place Called Somewhere
For One More Day
The Help
Her Fearful Symmetry
The Book Thief
The Hunger Games
Pride Prejudice and Zombies
The Rome
Fifty Shades of Grey

I hope this has provided some food for thought.

Has anyone else had any good/bad book group experiences?

Helen xoxo


Hi, I’m Helen! I’m a wellbeing and lifestyle blogger. After years of letting anxiety and a lack of self-confidence get in the way of achieving my goals. I’m now all about finding tips and tricks to boost confidence, personal growth, self-care and productivity. I’m on quest to live my best life and hopefully help you live the life you love.

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