Five Tips to Keep Your Book Club Running While Staying at Home

We need escapist novels and connection with our fellow readers more now than ever! So it’s vital, not to mention a lot of fun, that we all keep our book clubs up and running!

This month marks the fourth anniversary of my book club! I co-host the YA and Wine book club through The King’s English Bookshop here in Salt Lake City. We have almost two hundred members of our book club online and between 20-30 people who attend our meetings IRL every month. We usually meet at the bookshop, and while we’re sad that we won’t be able to celebrate this benchmark in person, we’re happy that we’ve been able to find safe ways to interact with each other and keep in touch!

Here’s a few tips you can implement to keep your group going strong during the pandemic.

  1. Host an online meeting! Setting up an online meeting for your group is, of course, the most important step. There are a lot of different hosting sites you can choose from including: Zoom, Google, Skype, and Go to Meeting! Since our group likes to chat for at least two hours, and we also like to have everyone be able to video conference in, we use Zoom!
  2. Set up a Facebook Group! This tip is one that we implement even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. It’s a great way to keep everyone connected in between meetings. We use our group to post funny book memes, to share book news, bookish articles, and upcoming book events, to wish each other happy birthday. It’s also a great way to check in with everyone and see if they’re all doing okay and if anyone needs anything.
  3. Have a Netflix party to watch book adaptations together! We’ve had multiple movie nights during the pandemic. Netflix offers the option to watch movies together online. However, since that does require you to watch via computer, our group has just watched the movies together while chatting via Messenger, which has been a blast!
  4. Have a virtual game night! There are a few games you can play via Zoom. We played their version of Cards Against Humanity (PlayingCards.io) last weekend! You can also play BINGO, Scattegories, Most Likely to, trivia, and more!
  5. Host a book exchange! This one is beneficial not only for your book club members, but for your local indie bookshop as well! We had our members sign up to participate by commenting in our Facebook group with a book from their TBR. We then paired everyone up for the exchange, and they all ordered their buddy’s book to be shipped directly to them from our favorite bookshop!

I hope this is helpful for you all! Stay safe and keep on reading, everyone!