So you’d like to start a Book Group… 

Ka pai! We love to help book groups thrive. Here are some top tips:  

Set the tone  

Would you like a single genre such as fantasy or biographies, something niche like alien romance, or would you prefer to mix it up with a variety of options? Is your group going to delve deep and get analytical or are you going to keep the tone casual? Either way, it’s important to treat members’ viewpoints with kindness and respect.  

Make a schedule 

Discuss how often you’ll meet and set an initial time that works for everyone. Will it be for an hour after work or a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon? Will you meet in-person, online, or a combination of both? Do you need to book a location? After your first meeting, you’ll have a better idea of how much time your group will need.  

Plan your meetings 

Even for the most casual gathering, it can be helpful to have a little bit of structure for example, socialising for the first 10-15mins then using some book discussion questions to settle in.  

Some great examples can be found here: 

Decide what to read  

This is likely to depend on the members in your group, but some theme ideas include: 

  • Changing the genre each month.  
  • Reading your way around the world with books set in different countries.  
  • Book-to-movie adaptions. 
  • Choosing books set in a certain decade or setting such as beach, city, space etc. 
  • Having a colour theme such as red covers.  
  • Choosing award-winning authors or short-lists such as the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.  
  • Having each member share what they’ve been reading lately.  
  • Following a celebrity book group and unashamedly stealing their choices!  
  • Join in the Big Library Read which happens each May – unlimited digital copies!  
  • Talk to your local librarian, sign up to our monthly newsletter or browse what’s new on our website. 

Accessible Books 

We have a range of formats to suit a variety of reading styles and needs including standard or large print, CD or MP3 and books in a variety of languages including Te Reo Māori. Use your membership number and PIN to access eBooks and Audiobooks on the Libby and Borrow Box apps. 

And if you’d rather have all the fun and no responsibility, check out the growing range of book groups available through the City Library.

Happy reading!