Book discussion club

A book discussion club is a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. It is more often called simply a book club, a term that is also used to describe a book sales club, which can cause confusion. Other frequently used terms to describe a book discussion club include reading group, book group, and book discussion group. Book discussion clubs may meet in private homes, libraries, bookstores, online forums, pubs, and in cafés or restaurants over meals or drinks.

A practice also associated with book discussion, common reading program or common read, involves institutions encouraging their members to discuss select books in group settings; common reading programs are largely associated with educational institutions encouraging their students to hold book discussion meetings.

Single-title clubs

A single-title club is one in which people discuss a particular title that every person in the group has read at the same time, often with each member buying a personal copy. Clearly, the club must somehow decide ahead of time what that title will be. Some groups may decide to choose new release titles, whilst others may choose older ones, or a mixture of the two. If it is a book discussion club that meets at a library, then each member may borrow a copy of the book from the library over a given timeframe in order for a later discussion.

There may be a few problems with these clubs. Some members may regard them as opportunities to meet people for social contact and general conversation, partially veering off onto a wide variety of non-literary topics, while others wish to engage in serious literary analysis focused on the book in question and related works, with little non-literary interaction. Additionally, some members may suggest a book not because they are interested in it from a literary point-of-view but because they think it will offer them an opportunity to make points of personal interest to them or fit an external agenda. Also, different expectations and education/skill levels may lead to conflicts and disappointments in clubs of this kind.

Multi-title clubs

The characteristics of a multi-title club are such that each member may be reading different titles from each other at any given time, and they may share a reading list for a period of time. What distinguishes this from any group of unrelated people reading different things from each other is that each title is expected to be read by the next member in a serial fashion.

Open loans

Open loans suggest that the books in question are free to be loaned among the population with the expectation of getting them back eventually. Instead of one member deciding what everyone will read, with all the cost implications of acquiring that title, these clubs usually involve circulating books they already own. Each book is introduced with a short precis. This offers members the advantage of previewing a work before committing to read. It has the effect of narrowing the focus of the dialogue so that book and reader are more quickly and more accurately matched up. The sequential nature of the process implies that within a short time, three to five people may have read the same title, which is the perfect amount for a worthy conversation.

Catch and release

Catch and release imply that actual ownership of the book transfers each iteration with no expectation of the book returning to the original owner. The mechanism of transfer may include a personal face to face hand off, sending the items through the mail, or most remarkably, leaving the book in a public place with the expectation that unknown future readers will find it there. All three methods are utilized with BookCrossing. Participants use a website and a system of unique identification numbers to track released items as they migrate through a worldwide community. The interaction is largely web-centric, but it does not exclude face-to-face gatherings, each of which can take on the traits of other book discussion clubs.

Library book clubs

Many public libraries lead book clubs as a library program on a regular basis. A librarian usually leads a discussion after participants read the book. Copies of the book are available to either be checked out or signed out for the group meeting. If leading a book discussion group outside of the facility, often libraries offer book discussion kits where several titles of a book are able to be loaned out of the library to a single patron. Also, the lending period is typically longer than for the average book. The kits also contains a suggested reading guide with discussion questions. This is a convenience as everyone in the group is not forced to buy a copy of the book.[1]

Librarians also aid in the procurement of items needed for private book club meetings. They are able to withhold multiple copies of a publication and extend loan periods. They are also able to facilitate club meetings digitally, through discussion boards or video meetings. Many librarians note the positive influence of Google+ hangouts and Skype to host meetings for long distance club members and for times in which all members could not attend the club. Librarians have helped non-traditional book clubs find footing within their community.[2]

Online clubs

With the challenge that not all members of a club can regularly meet at an appointed place and time, a new form of book clubs has emerged online. Online clubs exist in the shape of Internet forums, Yahoo Groups, e-mail mailing lists, dedicated websites, such as,[3] apps such as Novellic and even telephone conference calls. Also, in the category of social networks, these online clubs are made up of members of a variety of reading interests and often approach book discussion in different ways, e.g. academic discussion, pleasure-reading discussion, personal connection, and reaction to books members read.

Author led clubs

In 2012, a new book club format referred to as author-led book clubs was introduced by Business Book Club "12 Books." Author led book clubs include the author of the current book as part of the discussion; it often concludes the discussion with a live conference call or webinar.

Broadcast clubs

A broadcast club is one in which a television, radio, or podcast show features a regular segment that presents a discussion of a book. The segment is announced in advance so that viewers or listeners may read the book prior to the broadcast discussion. Some notable broadcast book discussion clubs include:

Book reading clubs

Given the busy lifestyles of today, another variation on the traditional 'book club' is the book reading club. In such a club, the group agrees on a specific book, and each week (or whatever frequency), one person in the group reads the book out loud while the rest of the group listens. The group can either allow interruptions for comments and questions from the members at any time, or agree to allow such input at chapter or section endings. Such a club makes reading a shared experience and frees the busy members from the "homework" of having read the book before coming to the club. It also creates a lively environment for commenting on the specifics of the books as it is read and can lead to very enriching exchanges. A given book may continue for several sittings, depending on the pace of reading, frequency of meetings, and the extent of comments and discussion. Members can take turns reading to share the reading responsibility. Another variation on the concept could be jointly listening to an audio-book with pauses for comments. Once a book is completed, members recommend their choices of the new books and vote on which book to proceed with next.


  • BookBuffet is a website directed toward book groups and avid readers with literary news, book reviews, author podcasts, technology tips, and vetted resource links. Members register their group to use a set of tools where they can maintain a joint calendar, communicate, and keep track of books their group has read as well as rate books and share reviews. Book group moderators (people who lead book groups) can keep track of all their various client groups, communicate, and share information in chat forums. There is also a "find a group" feature for people looking to join an existing group. Founded by Paula Shackleton.
  • New Zealand's only nationwide book group specialist is Book Discussion Scheme.
  • Association of Book Group Readers and Leaders (AGBRL), also known as the Association of Professional Book Club Facilitators, is a cooperative information clearinghouse for avid readers, both individuals and those in book discussion clubs. Its founder and director is Rachel W. Jacobsohn, author of The Reading Group Handbook.
  • Reader's Circle is a book club where people attend with whatever they're reading. The only structure is if participants decide to have an 'optional book.' Otherwise, people just bring their own books, articles, magazines, and conversation goes from there.
  • Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization established in 1947 that publishes collections of classic and modern literature for use in book discussion clubs. It also offers workshops in conducting book discussions.
  • Library of Congress Center for the Book is a program of the Library of Congress' Library Services division that promotes community-wide book discussion groups through its "One Book" project.
  • BookSurfing is a social network based book discussion club that uses Facebook as its platform to organize and set up meetings. A moderator sets up a Facebook event and selects eight people who meet at one of the participants house for a "Surf". Every participant reads the text he brings out loud to the entire group. The participants may use any readable text but it must not exceed 450 words. In every "Surf", at least one of the participants must be new to BookSurfing. Among the participants there should always be some people who don't know each other and every surf must have a moderator. The texts and reasons for choosing them are then discussed. Booksurfing was founded in Tel Aviv Israel in 2013 by Raz Spector and now has groups in various countries[4]
  • is a decentralized and mysterious book club organization that popped up in early 2018 across many cities in the US.[5] According to its source code, it may have had earlier meetings, has been passed down through Oral tradition, and uses the principle of stigmergy to mutate.

Social Media for Readers

  • GoodReads is a social media network for readers. Users can keep track of what they're reading, shelve books, write reviews, rate titles comment on friends' progress. The site also includes literary quizzes, book lists to find more titles to enjoy, various book discussion groups, author interviews and more.
  • Library Thing is a social media resource that helps users to catalog and keep track of what they're reading. Rate, review, and discuss books with others.

Book Club Resources

  • LitLovers is a literary resource for all things regarding books and book clubs. Get tips on how to start a book club, find summaries, discussion questions, author biographies, book reviews, reading guides and more to help begin or aid your book clubs.
  • Book Movement is an online book club resource that provides book guides, book reviews, book ideas, new books or club communication tools, and more to help organize and expand your book club.
  • Book Series in Order is an online resource that provides detailed lists of book series in their proper order. Searches can be made by title, author, or series title.

Book discussion clubs in fiction


  • Xingu (1916) a short story by Edith Wharton
  • The Stepford Wives (1972) a novel by Ira Levin
  • "...And Ladies of the Club" (1982) a novel by Helen Hooven Santmyer
  • The Book Class (1984) a novel by Louis Auchincloss
  • Bloodhounds (1996) a novel by Peter Lovesey
  • Coast Road (1998) a novel by Barbara Delinsky
  • The Book Borrower (1999) a novel by Alice Mattison
  • The Book Club (1999) a novel by Mary Alice Monroe
  • The Dead of Midnight (2001) a novel by Catherine Hunter
  • The Used Women's Book Club (2003) a novel by Paul Bryers
  • Vinyl Cafe Diaries (2003) a novel by Stuart McLean
  • The Reading Group (2003) a novel by Elizabeth Noble
  • Little Children (2004) a novel by Tom Perrotta
  • The Jane Austen Book Club (2004) a novel by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008) ISBN 978-0-385-34099-1 a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • The Lost Temple (2015) a novel by Vishesh Sharma



  • "The Couch", a 1994 episode (season 6, number 5) of the American situation comedy Seinfeld
  • "Books", a 2001 episode (season 1, number 2) of the British situation comedy The Savages
  • The Book Group, a 2001-2002 British situation comedy series
  • "Wedding Balls", a 2002 episode (season 4, number 22) of the American situation comedy Will & Grace
  • "About a Book Club", a 2003 episode (season 1, number 5) of the American situation comedy Hope & Faith
  • "The Book Club", a 2004 episode (season 1, number 4) of the American children's series Unfabulous
  • "The Book of Love", a 2004 episode (season 5, number 12) of the British situation comedy My Family
  • "Breaking Out Is Hard to Do", a 2005 episode (season 4, number 9) of the American animated series Family Guy
  • "A Tale of Two Cities", a 2006 episode (season 3, number 1) of the American drama series Lost

Video Games

Doki Doki Literature Club

See also


  1. ^ Hermes, V., Hill, M.A., & Frisbee, J. L. (2008). Reviving literary discussion: Book club to go kits. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 48(1), 30-34.
  2. ^ Gilliss, A. F. (2014). A novel idea: librarians reimagine book clubs with the help of technology. American Libraries, (5). 45.
  3. ^ Goodreads. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. ^ Ricefield, Smadar (13 September 2014). "בוק סרפינג: טקסטים ספרותיים מקרבים בין זרים גמורים" [Book Surfing: Literature texts brings strangers closer]. Haaretz. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  5. ^ Chin, Lily (5 April 2018). "".


External links

Book club

Book club may refer to:

Book discussion club, a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read

Literature circle, a group of students who meet in a classroom to discuss a book or books that they have read

Book sales club, a subscription-based method of selling and purchasing books

Text publication society, also known as a book club, a subscription-based learned society dedicated to the publication and sale of scholarly editions of textsBook club may also refer to:

Book Club (film), a 2018 American comedy film

The Book Club, an Australian television show that discusses books

Bookclub (radio), a BBC Radio 4 programme

The Richard & Judy, Book Club, a regular chat show segment responsible for 26% of book sales in the United Kingdom in 2008

The original name of Siam Commercial Bank, established 1904

The Book Group, a British television situation comedy

Book sales club

A book sales club is a subscription-based method of selling and purchasing books. It is more often called simply a book club, a term that is also used to describe a book discussion club, which can cause confusion.

Library event planning

Library event planning includes book release parties, author readings and signings, poetry and open mic readings, media workshops, storytimes, community events and tutorials. Library events are vital to maintaining an active role in the community in which the library is located. Advertising of events is essential not only to promote specific events, but in the promotion of the library as an institution of community.

List of book sales clubs

This is a list of book sales clubs, both current and defunct.

Book League of America

Book of the Month Club

Collins Crime Club

Folio Society

Junior Library Guild

Left Book Club

Literary Guild

Mystery Book Club

Quality Paperback Book Club

Scholastic Corporation

Science Fiction Book Club

Time Reading Program

Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft

Literature Circles in EFL

Literature Circles in EFL are teacher accompanied classroom discussion groups among English as a foreign language learners, who regularly get together in class to speak about and share their ideas, and comment on others' interpretations about the previously determined section of a graded reader in English, using their ‘role-sheets’ and ‘student journals’ in collaboration with each other.

One City One Book

One City One Book (also One Book One City, [City] Reads, On the Same Page and other variations) is a generic name for a community reading program that attempts to get everyone in a city to read and discuss the same book. The name of the program is often reversed to One Book One City, or is customized to name the city where it occurs. Popular book picks have been Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Ernest Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima.

Oprah's Book Club

Oprah's Book Club was a book discussion club segment of the American talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, highlighting books chosen by host Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey started the book club in 1996, selecting a new book, usually a novel, for viewers to read and discuss each month. The club ended its 15-year run, along with the Oprah Winfrey Show, on May 25, 2011. In total the club recommended 70 books during its 15 years.

Due to the book club's widespread popularity, many obscure titles have become very popular bestsellers, increasing sales in some cases by as many as several million copies. Al Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor, estimated the total sales of the 69 "Oprah editions" at over 55 million copies.The club has seen several literary controversies, such as Jonathan Franzen's public dissatisfaction with his novel The Corrections having been chosen by Winfrey, and the now infamous incident of James Frey's memoir, A Million Little Pieces, a 2005 selection, being outed as almost entirety fabricated. The latter controversy resulted in Frey and publisher Nan Talese being confronted and publicly shamed by Winfrey in a highly praised live televised episode of Winfrey's show.On Friday, June 1, 2012, Oprah announced the launch of Oprah's Book Club 2.0 with Wild by Cheryl Strayed. The new version of Oprah's Book Club, a joint project between OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, will incorporate the use of various social media platforms and e-readers.

Outline of books

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to books:

Book – set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side.

Panoply Media

Panoply Media is a podcast network

started by The Slate Group.

For listeners, it curates podcasts. For podcast producers, it helps companies with production, advertising, and audience metrics.

As of February 2017, Panoply publishes more than 100 podcasts.

Panoply partners with Sports Illustrated, The Huffington Post, New York magazine, Time, Inc., Vox, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico. It has signed with William Morris Endeavor for future projects to adapt its podcasts for other media. It has produced branded content for Purina, Umpqua Bank, Prudential and Starbucks.In September 2018, it was announced that Panoply would cease production of all podcasts and shut down its editorial division in order to focus on podcast hosting, analytics, and monetization technology.

Readers' advisory

Readers' advisory (sometimes spelled readers advisory or reader's advisory) is a service which involves suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles to a reader through direct or indirect means. This service is a fundamental library service; however, readers' advisory also occurs in commercial contexts such as bookstores. Currently, almost all North American public libraries offer some form of readers' advisory.

Reading list

Reading list may refer to:

Reading list, required books to be read, either as part of the syllabus on an academic course, or social gathering (e.g. Book discussion club, or similar).

Reading List (Apple), a Safari web browser bookmarking feature for saving links to webpages, with simple metadata for later reading, synchronized across devices.

Rock Island Public Library

The Rock Island Public Library is located in downtown Rock Island, Illinois. The Rock Island Public Library traces its beginnings to 1872, making it one the oldest public libraries in Illinois. However, fee-based public libraries started in 1855 in Rock Island and have contributed to the history of Illinois' original library system.


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