Maybe your book group is meeting for the first time, or maybe you’ve had new members join (and others leave), or maybe you just want to inject some fun into your next discussion. Whatever the situation, an icebreaker activity can help!
Icebreakers can put members at ease with one another, making them feel more comfortable expressing their opinions and more likely to respect the comments of others. Plus, a bit of fun and laughter reduces awkwardness and the silences that can sometimes occur, especially at the beginning of a meeting or with new members.
Here’s one idea to get your next (or first!) discussion off to a great start: The Book Group Quiz.
Book groups often bring together a mix of personalities. That’s part of the fun! But sometimes one person, the group “diva,” has a lot to say and makes it difficult for others to participate.
In fact, our recent survey revealed almost 2/3 of reading groups have had a member who has dominated a discussion or prevented others from speaking at some point. Some of the groups let it pass, and the problem went away on its own. But the rest found it necessary to take action so everyone in the group could have fun and participate in the discussions.
A New Year Can Bring New (and fun!) Ideas
Add some extra fun to your book club discussions this year by introducing creative and playful spins to your book club approach.
Dress up as your favorite characters! You can keep it simple by limiting costumes to just one item—a mask for The Queen of The Night or Old West hats for Lady Cop Makes Trouble. You might also want to open the evening with an impersonation game to see what book club member best embodies the book’s protagonist.
To Name or Not to Name? It’s not surprising that reading groups find creative ways to describe themselves, and we are the lucky ones who get to hear fun and unique names from around the world.
We know how much effort is put into selecting the perfect name that reflects the character of the group, the history of the group, and the mission of the group. It might even be harder than selecting the books you read! If you haven’t named your group yet, or if you’re just starting your group, we hope you find some inspiration below!
We receive so many suggestions for how to make discussions lively and interesting, and there is an enormous variety! But the one common element from the years of suggestions and experience is: a little preparation goes a long way!
In our annual survey, we ask groups about meeting preparation, and nearly 98% of groups prepare in some way before their meeting (and to be clear – that’s in addition to reading the book!).
We hope some of the ideas below, which come from reading groups worldwide, will help make your discussions even livelier. There are a few unique ideas too that go beyond the last-minute Wikipedia skimming on our phone (it’s okay – we’ve all done it!).
Reading Groups tend to be an organized bunch, or there’s at least one of us in the group that is organized and handles the logistics. When to choose books might be a little less confusing than how to choose books, but it’s just as important.
In our annual survey we always ask our groups when they choose books, and we’ve received the same answers each year in the same order: Most groups (by a large majority) choose one book at a time to discuss, and a majority of those groups choose the book at the previous meeting or two meetings in advance.