I love book clubs because of the books and the friends, but sometimes things get a little stale at the monthly meeting.
There are a lot of easy ways to jazz things up and encourage your club members to keep coming back for more. After all, with everyone’s schedule so busy, a dull hour talking about a boring book won’t always make the priority list. But a themed party with some extra fun will make all the difference.
If you’re ready to spice things up at your next meeting, try these 7 tricks!
A curated playlist goes a looooong way. There are so many ways to create a playlist for an event that surely you’ll have no trouble coming up with a few songs to play as club members arrive and find their snacks and seats. You might even play the music quietly in the background during the discussion to set the mood.
If the book has been made into a movie, start with the movie soundtrack. If not, think about the mood of the book. Historical fiction from the ’40s? Try some classics. Sci-Fi set in the year 3000? Go with some EDM or techno.
Try a New Recipe
Nothing goes better with a book than a snack. Try out your cooking or baking skills by learning a new recipe to share with your book club.
A small snack or dessert that’s on theme with the book will be a conversation starter and an added bonus. No one expects snacks, but it’s great to share if you can!
Dress Up in Costume
This one works especially well with fantasy, sci-fi, and historical fiction, but you can adapt it to any book.
Let your club members know that this month you’ll be hosting a dress up event! Wear a costume to dress up like a character from the book.
Home-made costumes will help save some money and make things more creative. It’s so much fun to see characters jump out of the pages into the real world.
If it’s close to Halloween, suggest that people wear a costume representing any literary character or author so they can be their all-time favorite when they go to their upcoming Halloween parties too. You might get a bit more participation if the costume can do double duty.
Pick a Favorite Quote
Ask your book club ahead of time to pick their favorite quote as they read the book. It could be a crucial turning point in the plot or just some really well-written prose. Then, as guests arrive, have them write the quote on a large piece of paper to hang on the wall for everyone else to see. It’s a great casual ice breaker as people settle in, and you’ll get to see if anyone fell for the same line.
Act Out a Scene
Ok, this one depends on the crowd.
Not everyone will be comfortable getting in front of their friends (or strangers) and pretending to be Katniss Everdeen. But if you’ve got a lively group, try acting out a few scenes in the book, starting with the most exciting or most crucial to the plot.
If everyone is afraid to stand in front of an audience, take turns reading small bits of the story.
Decorate the Room
If you’ve been on Pinterest, you know what I mean here.
Decorating for parties and events has become a booming industry of its own in the past decade, led by the DIY crew on the internet.
There are endless printouts, DIY hacks, templates, and guides to show you how to make your party decorations shine, without breaking the bank. A few simple items like a themed centerpiece, some colorful printouts on the walls, and some knick-knacks on the snack table will set the mood.
If you want to go all out, try altering the lighting with various colors. Or use the classic plate/cup strategy in themed colors or patterns.
We all like to be rewarded for a job well done. Even adults!
So hand out small prizes to those who answer questions about the book. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Even a themed sticker or a special piece of candy can make someone smile.
Or, try door prizes if your group is big enough. Give everyone a raffle ticket or two when they arrive and give out more as they answer questions or start new discussions. Then, in the last five minutes, pull a few tickets for prizes like a new copy of next month’s book, a pair of movie tickets, a reusable water bottle, or a scented candle.
There are endless ways to spice up your next book club meeting! Which one will you choose?