It’s right there on the calendar, marked with a big red B: your next book club meeting.
You used to get excited about these meetings. You got to meet new people, try new authors, and learn about topics you might not have tried on your own.
But then you got a little… bored.
Like most relationships, your book club can start to feel stale after a while, too.
Just because your group is in a rut doesn’t mean all hope is lost, though. Before you give up on your book club, give these tips a try to see if you can add life back to your dying meetings.
1. Eat Your Words
I know I am much more likely to get excited about an event if you promise me snacks. Your book club members probably feel the same way. Nobody feels like discussing a book’s delicious setting when their tummy is growling, after all.
Encourage your members to bring an appetizer inspired by the book you’re reading. If you’re reading a horror novel, for example, munch on monsters. For romance, create a table full of aphrodisiac snacks (oyster shooters, anyone?) Pinterest is your friend here. Get creative – the wilder the food, the more engaged the audience.
2. Drink Up
And while we’re discussing snacks, it’s not a party without a good cocktail. Start by creating a signature drink for each of the books you read and let everyone help make it before you begin your book talk.
If you need some inspiration, Read It Forward has a great list of literary-inspired cocktails to get your shaker started here.
Remember that not everyone will want to imbibe, so plan to have a nonalcoholic version available, too.
3. Choose Local
If you’re looking to add a fresh face to your meeting, then pick a book from a local author and invite him or her to join you for a book discussion. Remember that writing is a solitary endeavor, so many authors love to get out of their offices to talk to book clubs in person.
Do you want to talk to an author, but can’t find one nearby? Get in touch with your favorites and see if they’d be willing to Skype in for a meeting.
4. Play a Game
Are you leading a cozy mystery book club? Try starting your meeting with a Whodunnit game like these from Mystery Party.
If you’re reading literary or women’s fiction, Pan Macmillan has some great ideas here, too.
Get Gatsby-wild and throw a book-themed roaring 20s game night.
The idea is to get people interacting in a different way.
5. Have Some Book Club Class
Remember in elementary school when your teachers would take you on a field trip to break up the monotony of sitting in a classroom all day?
Get out of your book club’s comfort zone and hit the road.
Are you reading Dorthea Benton Frank’s Queen Bee? Then maybe you’d like to plan a visit a local beekeeper to learn about the trade.
Take a cooking class, visit an art exhibit, or go to a concert. Remember that a good book’s job is to open your mind, so don’t be afraid to let it lead you to something new.
6. Switch it Up
Try a different genre to see if you can get people excited again.
Does your book club normally read thrillers? Then switch it up to historical fiction.
Mystery? Try a romance.
You don’t have to go all Book Club and venture into 50 Shades territory (but feel free if your book club is up for the challenge), but try something different and see what it inspires.