Love your book club but feel your monthly meetings have become a little boring? Looking for ways to bring fun and creativity to your discussions? All it takes is some pre-planning and creativity to make it happen. To make your evening much more engaging and memorable, focus on 3 things: Food, Characters and Location.
Don’t worry, your menu doesn’t need to be elaborate to be fabulous. In fact, keeping to a few simple but clever items will make it more memorable. Besides, who really goes to book club to eat? Have your menu include things that were significant in the story. As you are reading, keep some post-its nearby and flag the pages. At our book club last week, we read “Maybe in Another Life” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Super story by the way. Our sweet hostess served cinnamon rolls (the main character’s favorite treat throughout the story) and we all loved them! She made the extra effort to go to a local bakery, although she didn’t need to because any kind would have been great, and surprised us at the end of the evening. Who could resist?
The characters throughout the book allow you to really play things up. A few years ago a I attended (what I consider to be my all-time favorite) book club where they were reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory. By the way, this is an outstanding historical fiction story – if you haven’t read it you definitely should. The hostess asked a few friends ahead of time if they could play the part of the main characters, with some costumes she had from Halloween. She purchased a few props at the dollar store for everyone else to play along – things like court jester sticks, masks and chalices. When it came time for the book discussion, everyone was asked to pick a question from a basket. Each was written on paper that was burnt at the ends and rolled-up into mini scrolls. Having everyone take a question helped to ensure even the quieter members had a chance to be heard.
Incorporating the scene into your book club is another way to add a list twist to your evening. Is your story set in the south? Download a few country songs that were popular during whatever timeframe you are reading in and have them playing in the background when guests arrive. Include some country-inspired signs in your front welcoming guests. If the house in the story had any significant characteristics, be creative and try to duplicate. No need to spend a lot of money, use old boards or rummage through your storage area or garage. Hobby Lobby is a great place to be inspired when it comes to décor.
No need to have your book club nights be ho-hum. Take advantage of the time you have together by planning ahead of time (target finishing the book a week before so you have plenty of time to plan). You may find other hostesses follow your lead and incorporate their own creativity. It doesn’t need to be elaborate; little touches will be appreciated just as much. Try it at your next meeting, but remember no stress, just fun!