The only thing better than reading a book you love is talking about it with other excited readers (especially if there are snacks or beverages). While there are infinite variations possible, the basic recipe for book club success comes down to just a few essentials.


Consult library staff active in programming and readers advisory services to learn what kind of book discussions your community craves. Some book clubs bond over a favorite genre. Others gravitate toward certain topics.

Whatever type or topic you settle on, choose something you also feel passionate about. Enthusiasm makes you a better book club advocate, organizer, and discussion leader.  

If your library has NoveList Plus, check the dropdown menu under “Quick Links” for Book Club Resources. You’ll find practical strategies on all things book club, from detailed tips on running your first book club to getting participants out of a reading rut.  

Stir up excitement among potential participants. LibraryAware customers have a range of templates to choose from and it's a snap to design and distribute coordinating book club materials, from emails to promotional flyers like this one from Plainville Memorial Library.  

Quality ingredients  

A great story stokes your appetite for more, inspires you to share it with others, and leaves you on pins and needles until you can talk over all the little details that tickled your taste buds… or not. 

Choose fresh, discussion-worthy books that invite readers to draw differing conclusions or to adopt various perspectives. NoveList Plus uses the heading "Book Club Best Bets" to label titles excellent for book clubs as determined by reviews, celebrities, and media outlets, or NoveList experts. We’ve got a whole guide to searching for these gems.  

Variety is the spice of life! Incorporate inclusive titles all year long, not just during certain weeks or months. Choose books by authors from a variety of races, cultures, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and religions. Use author characteristics in NoveList Plus to find options. At the Advanced Search page, just scroll down and select limiters like Author's Nationality, Author's Gender Identity, and Author's Cultural Identity. Similarly, NoveList character appeal terms will help you find books featuring characters from diverse backgrounds and/or marginalized identities. 

Modifications and substitutions

Making a book club experience your own is the best secret ingredient out there. Is there a genre your book club has never even given a chance? Enter TI But My Book Club Doesn't Read into the NoveList Plus search bar for 100 percent organic, non-GMO suggestions (including book recs!) that just might tempt them to take a nibble.  

What kind of book club resources would be most helpful for your readers?

Kimberly Burton is a Reader Services Librarian for NoveList. She is currently reading The Naked Neanderthal: A New Understanding of the Human Creature by Ludovic Stimak.