Book Club and Reading Guides

book clubs and reading guides for kis

How to making reading interesting and becomes a lifetime habit?  Why not start a book club?  It’s really simple — a reading group or a book club is just a bunch of friends who decide to read the same book and then get together to talk about it.  It’s easy, and it’s lots of fun! Here are some tips on how to get a club started.

The easiest way to begin is to just call or email your buddies who like to read and see if they want to get together to read and discuss a good book.  If everyone brings one other person, you’ll have a big enough club in no time! 

Attendance can be a big deal with clubs just starting out. Make sure your friends are really dedicated to reading the book and will come to the meetings. You should decide if members who have not finished the book yet are welcome to the discussion as they might steer the discussion off-track, and you want people there who have actually read the books!

8 to 12 people is about the right size for a good club.  Since some children will not be able to make every meeting, you can still have a good conversation with a couple of missing members. if you have more than 12, it will be hard to let everyone speak their minds. You might also decide before you start if you’re going to have a coed club (boys and girls) or just keep it one gender.  Sometimes it might be nice to have different opinions from the opposite sex, but the boys might want to read different books than the girls which can make it hard to stay focused. Remember: you’re here to read and talk about books, not gossip and have a party!

Once you have your club, lay down some simple rules to keep things running smoothly.  How are you going to choose your books? Some clubs only read one kind of book (like mysteries or fantasy), while others like to read a wide range of stuff.  You might want to make one kid the "secretary"; he or she will keep track of book lists and send out reminders about meeting times and places.

A book club will be a lot of fun, but it might also be hard work at first.  Parents might want to help out at the beginning. The first few weeks will be a little crazy as you’re working out the details, but you will be surprised how much fun you and your friends can have discussing the great books you read!

Checklist to run a book club:

  • When to meet? 
    About once every 2 weeks, depending on individual schedule.
  • Where to meet?
    It’s best to take turns hosting the group at different people’s house.
  • What to bring? 
    Your books, of course! And snacks, so make sure everyone shares the responsibility of bringing something to eat, like chips and salsa, cookies or brownies.
  • Who leads the discussion? Don’t be afraid of using outside help! Find a book club guide for your book online and use those questions to start the discussion.  Another possibility is to ask a grownup like a teacher or librarian to lead the discussion until the group gets the hang of it. The most important part of a book club is the book, so try hard to keep the discussion focused on what you’re reading and not Sally’s new shoes or Ben’s silly prank in school.
  • Choosing what to read?
    This is the best part and the most difficult part.  You want titles that are not too hard but are not too easy either.  Books that will be interesting for readers who like different things. The best way to make sure your club’s happy with the book choices is to create a list and then vote on which ones you are going to read.  The more information you have on each book (author info, recommendations, previous reading experience, stuff like that), the easier it will be for your club to make a smart decision.  Some clubs like to plan out their reading for a whole year, but others prefer to wait and only pick a couple of books at a time since their tastes can change.

I have compiled a few list here for you to kickstart:

 

Interesting..

Interesting..

who lives near you

 

In case you have not heard of this site, go take a look at http://www.wholivesnearyou.com.  Although most of the members are schooling students, you may find some young parents too.  That way it’ll be easier to find like-minded parents living nearby to form the book club.  The club can start small with 4 or more members.  KSP is very popular, suggest the regulars here all join this site and we can easier seek out the like-minded KSPs that lives near you!

With concern about the cost of new books, I like ooptimizer’s idea of ‘pooling’ of books. But that would means everyone reading a different book. Then instead of discussing their thoughts on the same book, it could be a story telling session as suggested by bud.

For older children who are of schooling age, they could make use of the school library which should have multiple copies of the same book.

Please be innovative in customising it to your own context as there are no fix and fuss rule, so long as it works for you and all are having fun.

To learn more about me, go to Baby Samson or SAHMs

Will it take off?

 Paiseh, I’ve only heard of book clubs for expat wives/housewives/retirees, but for kids? I really wonder if it’ll take off considering their/their parents’ busy schedules

 Good luck!

  

good idea.

good idea.

Good idea

Thanks for the great idea. Will see if can get DS1 and DD2 to form a mini-book club when they are older. It’s not so easy to find like-minded parents who want their kids to read the same books we want to introduce, and also live near enough for the gatherings. Not to mention they are of similar age. Unless we want to form one among KSPs?

Hi, that's a good idea!

Hi, that’s a good idea! I’ll probably have a mini-club at home with just dh and ds. Then we can have our "meetings" as and when the opportunity arises eg when we are stuck in a traffic jam. And the 1 book can be shared at home 🙂

One issue is the cost of new books

Hi,

   I really like your idea of the book club, but one issue with many parents is the cost of the new books from the bookshop. A new book can easily cost $20 and above, and for many parents, this may be a problem, especially if the book is read only once, and they wish to get many new books in a year.

   Another idea that I have been trying out is for each parent to buy the book and then to be shared among several parents. In this way, although I may only buy one book, my child may get to read several books if there are several like-minded parents who share this idea (and share the books!).

Fantastic Idea

What a fantastic article.  

My close frds and I organized an informal bookclub in Sec sch.  There were only 3 of us but yeah, we had like informal discussions abt the book, plot etc… among us

Haiz, you have brought back some pleasant memories …

Thanks for sharing.

autumnbronze

Playdates..

I’ve never had an official book club with my kiddies. Though for our playdates, i have been like the so called unspoken appointed story-teller for the young ones. A book club does sound like a lotta fun. Thanks for sharing this, lifestylelink.

 bÜds

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