Book Clubs: A Gathering of Community Members

To some, there is nothing better than a good book.  It’s even better when you find someone who has read that book so that you can discuss it, analyze it or even ask questions about plot lines that you didn’t understand.  A book club has all these and more.


“The need for affiliation that drives people to join organizations is part of the evolutionary legacy of living in groups made up of related people for hundreds of thousands of years.” — Gary Bernhard, Ed.D. and Kalman Glantz, Ph.D.




The library, of course, is the logical place to start.  Anything that has to do with books can be found at the library.  Unfortunately, we the advent of hand held reading devices, library may be coming obsolete.  The “old school” readers often frown upon the electronic books because they like the feel of a book in their hands when reading.  Whichever reading medium you choose, you can still meet at the library for your discussion.


A posting in the library, on it’s website and Facebook page, word of mouth…all ways to get readers involved in a library book club.  Many times libraries have rooms available for the public to use, free of charge, so this would be the perfect location. A librarian or community member could lead the group.




Many coffee shops have a very quiet, introspective, stay awhile vibe so they are another perfect place to have a book club.  Many coffee shops have a public bulletin board where they encourage postings of community gatherings. This is a place where information of the book club could be posted.  More likely than not, they won’t mind having a group meet at their location because they will be making money when members buy coffee and baked goods.


“Meeting people and getting involved in new things can make all the difference for you and for others.” — Jane Framingham, Ph.D.


Some coffee shops encourage volunteerism by their workers so a barista may volunteer to run the group.  It would probably be best to ask the manager first about hosting the book club. If they don’t support it, you could advertise that you will meet there and then find another location for the discussion.




Youth that are excited about reading should be supported in their passion.  Any way to support or host a youth book club should be encouraged. Notices can go out through schools.  Notices can be posted in libraries. During the summer, book clubs can be offered through community camps.  Some communities require community service hours for high school students so book club leader would be a perfect job for a high school student who loves reading and working with children.

Teachers may offer this before and after school as an enrichment program.  




Another great community in which to start a book club is the workplace.  It can bring together co-workers who don’t know each other very well, but who share a love of reading.  It is a great way to spend time with colleagues in a non-work related situation. The fact that it is not focusing on the work you do, it makes it more relaxed and can give you a great opportunity to bond and get to know each other.   Anyone can lead the club and books could be voted on. A different co-worker could lead each meeting and the meeting place could be at the workplace or at someone’s home.


“Belonging to groups, such as networks of friends, family, clubs and sport teams, improves mental health because groups provide support, help you to feel good about yourself and keep you active.” — Rick Nauert PhD




Of course, a home-based book club is also a great choice.  Getting together with friends and discussing a wonderful book can be a great gathering.  Friends of friends can be invited, thereby growing a community and introducing people who may not know each other.  Since there is a focus to the gathering, it can be easier for less outgoing people to speak and get to know others. Throw in some coffee, wine, or a potluck and you a great get-together.


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