Tips for hosting a stress-free book club in the new year!

December 27, 2019

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I love books, reading has always been such a profound part of my life.  It occurred to me a few years back that I wanted to use books as a sort of ice breaker with other women.  I started a monthly book club and it developed some of my best friendships.  As young moms, it gave us a place to come monthly and the motivation to finish something purely for ourselves. (Although, we didn’t really care if you couldn’t finish the book so long as you showed up with a snack!)  I have maintained a book club in some capacity since then, and I thought it would be a fun time to share my suggestions for hosting a book club.

Choose a variety of books- When I first started my book club, I picked exclusively fiction books.  I realized the conversations would be more diverse and engaging if we did several genres and styles of writing/reading.  We eventually added biographies, self-help selections, fiction, and non-fiction. We’d pick something romantic in February, a thriller or mystery in October, and a Christmas inspired book in December. 

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Serve good snacks that are easy to prepare- Cheese, meat, simple desserts, finger foods of varying sorts are great.  Dips are wonderful and of course, warm bread.  Keeping things simple and quick reduces the stress and I feel it enables and empower you as a hostess! As you develop a routine, you might find yourself adding a thematic spin on snacks.  For example, we were reading a book sat in France once so I grabbed some budget friendly macaroons for dessert. It was a simple touch that added a thoughtful detail.

Have warm drinks– You won’t catch me going overboard on drinks, but I know that a book always pairs well with a drink. I just keep my coffee station stocked and encourage guests to grab a coffee with my personal favorite, Torani Puremade Salted Carmel Syrup.  Its easy to use, guests can add a spoonful to their coffee, cocoa, latte, whatever they’d like.  It also takes the pressure off of the guest to make a drink for each guest if you can leave the supplies there for them. 

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This allows more time for you to mingle about. Torani Puremade Syrups deliver amazing flavor—plus, there’s no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no artificial preservatives. GMO Free. I just grabbed some at my local World Market.

I have always had great luck finding unique things for book club gatherings!

Have a list of questions at the ready- I think its nice to have a couple questions planned beforehand, because once everyone starts catching up and talking you might forget what you were going to ask. Conversation about the book will naturally flow, but it usually needs a kick start.

Consider hosting on a weeknight as opposed to a weekend. In my experience, weeknights are often easier for friends.  Weekends fill up, but weeknights don’t often as many invite requests.

Check your local library, and see if they offer book club kits.  We were excited to learn our library offers “Book club kits” they would contain eight to ten copies of a book, some recipes, a cd of music to set the ambiance, all neatly packaged up for pick up.  We got into the habit of dispersing the new books and collecting the old books and each meeting so we could save money and simplify things.

Delegate responsibilities-
If someone offers to help, take their help!  Give a specific job like bring plates, or napkins. Request a specific side dish or drink.

More about This Messy Season

This Messy Season is a blog serving families through practical tips for nurturing their families, emphasizing quality time and adventure. Helping young families bloom where they're planted, embrace their mess, and thrive through a series of honest, blog posts highlighting realistic travel tips, favorite products that simplify the work load of families, and family entertainment.

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