“Books are the mirror of the soul.” – Virginia Woolf
When I arrived in Paris, I hardly knew anyone here, except for Sofia and Lizzy. That wasn’t a problem because I spent all my time discovering the city. But after a while, I wanted to expand my circle of friends. However, I am not someone who makes new friends very easily, so I decided to start my own book club so I could stay in my comfort zone as a book nerd and get to know new people.
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I could manage a book club, but now I’m so happy I tried. It’s so wonderful to be in one! We meet once a month, always on a great location. We drink coffee, wine, eat lots of food and talk about books for hours. All the members became my friends and we spend a lot of time together outside the club.
It is quite an organization to set up a book club, but with these tips, I’m sure you can do it too.
Decide what the tone and theme of the club will be.
This is the most important step. It has to be clear what kind of book club you want. What kind of genre are you going to read? What’s the purpose of the club? Do you just want to meet new people or do you want to learn new things? Will it be a women’s book club or are men welcome too? These are things you have to think about before you start.
Come up with a perfect name.
A good name for your book club is very important. With the right name, you get that feeling that your club is unique, which is true of course.
Spread the word.
Now it’s time to find members! The easiest way is by social media, but I decided to make handmade invitations, which I left in coffee shops, bookstores and libraries. In the invitation, I asked people to write me a letter by snail mail and surprisingly I got lots of handwritten letters, that was really great.
Make a schedule.
With our busy lives, it’s important to schedule your meetings at least two or three months in advance, so everyone will be available.
Surprise your fellow club members with some extras.
Sometimes I like to do something extra for my fellow book lovers. For example, when the weather is good we combine the book meetings with a picnic. I also love to choose a different location each time we meet, Paris has many lovely spots throughout the whole city.
Sometimes I buy a small present for everyone that matches the story of the book or I do something special. For example, when we just started the book club and we had read A Moveable Feast by Hemingway, I took everyone on a Hemingway tour, which we ended with a delicious lunch along the Seine.
If you have your own bookclub or you’re part of a club, please let me now. Maybe we can exchange ideas.