BY ZOE VOSSEN – JUNE 10, 2021
In the wake of 2020, community means more to us than ever. Now that zoom happy hours and virtual hangouts are starting to feel like things of the past, people are ready to start gathering IRL again! Book clubs offer the perfect amount of structure (because who remembers how to interact with others?) and creative vision but people often get hung up on the “hows”. By properly planning your group, the meeting’s atmosphere, and the little day-of details, your book club is bound for success. Here’s how to do that.
Book clubs are an amazing way to combine existing friends with newcomers in your life. Bonding over good books, thoughtful conversations, and quality food is a great way to get to know people better. However, it is helpful to have the following qualities in book club members in common:
This seems fairly obvious but worth exploring because sitting down and trying to read a book that you are not interested in can be painful. There is a fine line between expanding your horizons and reading something out of your comfort zone and something that simply doesn’t resonate with you.
When setting up your book club, an important decision you must make is how often you plan to meet. There is no right or wrong way to set up a book club’s cadence but making sure everyone feels comfortable with the decision made is key. Someone who craves structure and loves social gatherings could want to meet twice a month to discuss a few chapters at a time as opposed to the more casual reader who likes to meet once every two months to discuss an entire book.
Similar interests and similar backgrounds are different. In conversations, it’s always interesting (and important) to talk to people different from you. Reading the same words then discussing your interpretation is an incredible way to learn and grow from those around you.
Hosting a book club does not have to mean hosting in your home. There is an overwhelming sense of comfort and intimacy that comes with being invited into other’s homes but what we often forget is the hours, or even days, that go into preparing for an evening in. When it’s your turn to host the group, consider booking a room elsewhere to eliminate the day-of pressures. Cafes, restaurants, or even creative studios are often available to rent and makes hosting a breeze. If you’re still interested in the creative aspect of hosting, our studio in Minneapolis’ Loring Park neighborhood is a great option! You can bring in all of your own food and beverages, styled however you wish.
The point of book clubs is to gather together to learn from one another and to enjoy each other’s company. It’s easy to get caught up in the little details that can steal the light from this ultimate goal. Here are some tips to keep things simple and fun:
Make a Menu
Imagine it is a week before your hosted book club. You decided to invite the group to your home and are thinking of trying some hors d’oeuvres from your new cookbook. Instead of heading straight to the group to plan the menu, take a moment to visualize exactly what you want to serve and how you want it to look. From there, create a menu and assign recipes or ingredients (either for food or beverages) to members of your group. That way, you know everything is covered while staying true to your original vision. Need inspiration? We love Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman for food and Cocktails Made Simple by Brian Weber and Amin Benny for cocktails!
Make Time for Activities
Your group already has one hobby in common, reading! But every once in a while, before diving into the latest chapters, make some time for another activity to do together! A great option is crafting. For an on-brand experience, consider making matching bookmarks for that extra sense of community.
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