'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Librarian's Shelf: Book Clubs

Book clubs are all the rage for adults, and they can be fun for younger readers too. Many libraries host book clubs and librarians are often asked about how you can join or start a book club.

The most common way to run a book club or discussion group is to have the participants all read the same book. Here are some other approaches you might like to try (all are suitable for children and adults):

• Bring any book you’ve read over the last month and share it with the group, it doesn’t matter if no one else has read it because this is an excellent way to find out about new books and authors.

• Choose an author who has written more than one book, and have everyone read one of their choice, then discuss them.

• Invite everyone to read a book that fits a particular genre (e.g. spy fiction, graphic novels or historical fiction). You could change genres for each meeting or perhaps use a single genre to explore over a longer period (e.g. The Mystery Book Club).

• Focus your discussion on a different non-fiction topic each month. This can be a good way to encourage boys to get involved. (i.e. bring your favourite dinosaur book to share).

Parents, teachers, librarians and other enthusiasts of children’s books can have fun with a picture book club, too. It’s a great opportunity to talk about books that you have enjoyed sharing with your children, as well as new stories and authors you’ve discovered.

You could even start an informal family book club. Involve your whole family in talking about what they’re reading. Make books a regular topic of conversation at the dinner table. Discussing books doesn’t have to be a formal activity, so give it a go and see what happens.

Sarah Steed is our Consultant Librarian and reviewer. A former Children's and Young Adult Librarian, she has more than 18 years' experience working in public libraries. Sarah comes from a family of readers and has shelves full to bursting with books.