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Behind the Scenes with Book Clubs

 interviews with more than 80 book clubs in the U.S. and around the world

Over the past 16 years, we at BookBrowse have had the privilege of speaking with members or facilitators of more than 80 book clubs across the USA and the world. In the process, we've learned that there's a fascinating range of possibilities for what book groups are and can be.

Among those interviewed are a book club that conducts discussions through the mail, an ESL book club, a writers' book club, a club where members don't all read the same book at the same time, a club that includes both teens and adults, and a club whose beginnings were prompted by Toni Morrison's Beloved more than 30 years ago.

We've been fortunate to be able to follow up with some groups after a long period of time and find them still thriving, perhaps in part because of their willingness to adapt to the needs of their members. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we've been impressed to see the resilience groups have shown in implementing virtual meetings, often treating this not just as a necessity but an opportunity to make their get-togethers more accessible and inclusive.

These interviews showcase a wonderful variety of books and communities, and are all available for you to read in full on the site. Below is a sampling of just a few recent and past Q&As out of the many fantastic conversations in our archives. We hope you enjoy them and take away some inspiration for your own reading or book club.

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How Long Should a Book Club Book Be?

how many pages in a book club book?
What's the right number of pages for a book club book? Should your group set a page limit for the titles you read? In our most recent annual survey, we asked subscribers how their clubs factor the length of books into their selection process. Below, we'll explore their answers and the significance of page count for book clubs in general.

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Extra, Extra: Fun Things to Do with Your Book Club (Besides Reading!)

The most popular book club books of 2022
What activities does your book club enjoy, aside from reading and discussing books? While many groups stick to these basics, some who have the time and inclination take things a little further, whether that means extending their love for books to food, games and travel, or simply taking pleasure in being together in different settings. In our annual book club survey, we asked people about what their clubs like to do. Answers covered a variety of pastimes both inside and outside of regular book club meetings, book-related and otherwise.

Looking for ideas or inspiration to enhance your own group's time together? Just curious about what other book clubs do? Check out our summary of the results below.

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Building Community Through Book Clubs: Free Webinar

Building Community Through Book Clubs webinar
What a great group of librarians at last week's "Building Community Through Book Clubs" webinar hosted by Niche Academy! Almost 700 took part in the live session and the chat room was buzzing!

You can view the whole webinar for free, and a certificate of attendance is available if you want one.

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36 Book Club Discussion Topics for Any Book—Tried and Tested!

create your own book club discussion guide
You're in a book group and it's your turn to lead the discussion. You've found the perfect book, but there's no reading guide for it. What to do? Why, create your own, of course! With some all-purpose book club discussion topics like these below, you can turn out a top-notch discussion guide that will be an awesome fit for your book group.

Simply pick one to three topics from most of the categories for a well-rounded discussion.

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Book Club Food Ideas for Hearty Discussions

book club food ideas for hearty discussions
Is your book club in need of some fresh food ideas? In our most recent annual survey, we asked subscribers what snacks or meals their book groups prefer for their meetings. Below, we'll share with you some of the most popular responses, along with suggestions and resources that you can use for cooking up fun, food-filled sessions with your club in the future.

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