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January 10, 2018

So You Want to Start a Book Group

So You Want to Start a Book Group

By: Jennifer Harmon

Book groups can be an excellent way to explore your love of books while making connections with fellow readers. Interested in starting your own book club or joining an existing group? HEPL can help!

One of the first questions you might have about hosting a book club: what will you talk about? Book Riot (www.bookriot.com) has created a list of “40 Book Club Discussion Questions”, which range from the expected (Which characters in the book did you like best?) to the more creative (What songs does this book make you think of? Create a book group playlist together!). Lit Lovers has ideas for starting and running a book club, as well as specific questions for a large number of books. Oprah and Real Simple also offer tips for starting a group. Publishers like Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster often provide guides for the books that they publish.

NoveList Plus is a database available through HEPL (find it on our site by clicking “Resources”, “Online Databases”, “Print Media”, then “NoveList Plus”). Using NoveList Plus, you can enter the name of an author or book and get a list of read-a-likes. You can also get information on the book’s description, genre, tone, writing style, reviews, and subjects, and more. This can be a valuable tool for helping you prepare for your book club or exploring future titles.

Indiana Humanities has created a way for book groups to borrow multiple copies of the same book. Their “Novel Conversations” program is a free lending library that provides copies of titles to book groups in the state of Indiana. They lend them to your group by sending them to the library for you to pick up and return.

Like the idea of a book club but don’t want to start your own? Good news – HEPL has seven book groups available that cover a wide variety of genres and interests! In Fishers, Books on Tap meets monthly at a local pub, eatery, or restaurant. This group reads a variety of genres. Coffee by the Book is our daytime group, covering everything from contemporary fiction to classics. Do you enjoy nonfiction? Fishers has Just the Facts and Noblesville has True Brew Nonfiction each month. For fiction lovers, Fishers has Fiction Fans and Noblesville has On the Same Page. Do you love whodunits? Join us in Fishers for our Mystery Loves Company group. Our website has a monthly listing of the books the group will read with dates and times. Please call the reference desk at Fishers (317-579-0307) or Noblesville (317-770-3215) for information on how to obtain a copy of the book.

Whether you are forming a group with friends or joining one of HEPL’s book groups, there are plenty of resources available to help you get prepared.