How to Start a Book Club

Interested in starting a book club but you’re not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place!

Selecting a Title

If you want your book club to read the same books for each meeting, everyone will need to access the book at around the same time. Maybe that means buying a copy of the book, or sharing a copy of the book between club members. But with a bit of planning, everyone in your book club can access your chosen title from the library at around the same time (for free!). Here are some options:

  • Check out our Start Your Own Book Club lists
    These lists contain titles that the library has 3 or more print copies of, plus there are eBooks and eAudiobooks available through either cloudLibrary or Hoopla. Everyone in your book club will need to place individual holds on your book club’s chosen title. Check out our list of fiction and non-fiction titles!
  • Browse NoveList
    NoveList contains recommended reads and suggested authors and could be a good place to check if you’re not sure what kind of book(s) you want your book club to read. You can browse popular fiction or non-fiction books and series by genre, read-alikes, or what your reading “mood” is.
  • Try Hoopla 
    Hoopla provides instant access to eBook and eAudiobooks – no waiting lists! Search for “book club” to see Hoopla’s featured book club picks. Most titles in their book club category are available in both eBook and eAudiobook formats. 
  • Talk to BPL staff
    If you’re still stuck on what title to choose for your book club, chat with BPL staff during your next visit, email us, or call us at 705-728-1010!

Other Tips

Think about what kind of club you want to run

  • Are you a club that reads only non-fiction? Literary fiction? Romance? Or will it be a mix of everything?
  • Are you looking to make new friends and socialize during book club meetings, or will meetings be for discussing literature only?
  • Will your club meet in person or online?
  • How will new book club titles be selected – will everyone get a chance to pick a title? Will there be a system of voting to select new titles?
  • Consider running a genre-based book club where everyone reads different books each month. One month can be Sci-Fi, another month Thrillers, etc. Everyone picks their own book to read each month within that month's genre. No need to coordinate getting multiple copies of the same title each month! 

Prepare your book club’s discussions

  • Many publisher websites will include book club guides and discussion questions you can use to guide your book club’s discussions
  • Some basic questions to get you started:
    • What did you like best or least about the book?
    • Share a favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out?
    • Which character in the book did you most identify with? Why?
    • Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?
    • If you were making a movie out of this book, who would you cast?