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October 10, 2017

10 Tips for Starting a Book Club --- Guest Post by Deborah Lytton, Author of RUBY STARR


It should come as no surprise that we love books about readers. One of our favorite book-loving characters is Ruby Starr, the star of Deborah Lytton's RUBY STARR. In this book, precocious and funny Ruby starts a lunchtime book club at school. Her club, The Unicorns, combines her best real and fictional friends for the best book club ever. But when a new girl comes to school, Ruby's happy life is up-ended and she has to figure out how books can come to the rescue. In this post, author Deborah Lytton shares some tips for young readers looking to start their own book clubs.

Here’s a quiz to see if you should start a book club:
Do you love reading books?
Do you love talking about books?
Do you have a list of books you hope to read?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then a book club is definitely for you!
Ready to get started? Then here are 10 tips to help you set up your very own book club:

  1. Consider starting a themed book club. How about a Harry Potter book club or a Nancy Drew book club? If you love horses or dragons, you could even start a horse or dragon-themed book club.
  2. Make up a really inventive name for your book club. Try mixing animals and colors like Emerald Dragon or places from books like Wonderland Readers or even book-related names like Page Turners or Book Markers. 
  3. Sometimes it’s easier to begin reading a book than to finish reading one. Schedule a time every day to read. Set a goal for yourself, such as reading one chapter or ten pages every day. 
  4. Keep a reading journal. If there are sentences or descriptions you like, jot them down in a notebook. This is also a good place to write down book club discussion ideas.
  5. Invite family or friends to join your book club. Give everyone plenty of time to start reading. Ask them to bring one question about the book to the meeting.
  6. Prepare at least three questions for your book club meeting. Start by asking if everyone has finished the book yet. That way, you know if you can talk about the ending. Try asking everyone what character is most like them or how they would rewrite the book if they were the author.
  7. If your meeting is in a place you can share snacks, think about bringing strawberries or graham crackers. You can even make themed snacks like Turkish Delight for a Narnia book club meeting or carrot cake for a discussion about Black Beauty!
  8. At the end of your meeting, remember to choose your next book. Ask everyone for suggestions and write down all the titles. Hopefully, you can get to every book on the list.
  9. Keep the book club interesting by adding artwork to your book club discussion. Ask everyone to draw their favorite scene in the book or make bookmarks at your meeting.
  10. Authors love hearing from readers so write a letter or send an email to let them know you are reading their book. You might receive a letter back! You can also check author websites for book discussion questions. I have questions on my website for all of my books. You can find my website at

Happy reading!