Steps to Start a Book Group

1. Choose what kind of book group you would like to start. Limit the number of participants by the type of group and the size of your meeting space, and the type of group. You may wish to limit the book group to 10-12 members. (A parent and child together count as one member.)

2.  Decide on a time and place to hold your book group. We recommend that you meet once a month. Don't forget school vacations and holidays when you're scheduling. Some book groups meet at the members' houses and rotate their locations.

3. Once you have chosen your members, send them a note announcing your first meeting.

4.  Hold an orientation meeting so that you can:

  • Choose your first book. (We've made this easy! We feature new books each month and provide activities to match.
  • Decide on the structure of the meetings.
  • Agree on rules and courtesies.
  • Assign jobs.
  • Collect phone numbers. Set up a phone list so that everyone in the group can be reached easily and quickly. Ask each person to call the next person on the list when there is book group news.

    5.  Ask each book group member for an emergency phone number.

    6.  If you're going to meet somewhere other than a house, make sure you have access to that space. This may mean contacting a custodian, or getting a key to the building.

    7.  Designate a member to be at the book group site 15 minutes prior to the meeting, and stay until all the others are safely en route home. You can rotate this responsibility.

    8.  Decide which members will be responsible for materials, snacks, and clean-up duties. You can rotate these jobs, or ask the host or hostess for that meeting to handle them.

    9.  Make sure you have all materials you need for any activities you have planned.

    10.  Keep lots of clean-up materials handy.

    11.  Kid-proof any areas that young children will use.

    12.  Decide ahead of time how the group will handle a child who attends without an adult.

    13.  Decide ahead of time how the group will deal with a member who hasn't read the book.

    14.  Figure out how you can get multiple copies of your book. Libraries, schools, or bookstores may be able to help.

    15.  Leave time at the end of each meeting to settle on the next selection, assign jobs, and choose the next meeting location.

    16. Most importantly, have fun! The best thing about a book group is that it helps get kids hooked on reading.

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