How to Host a Book Club Party

garden party women outside
Photo: Victoria Pearson

You've gathered your closest friends and chosen your favorite books -- now it's your turn to host the next book club meeting. Whether your book club meets weekly or monthly (or somewhere in between), we have the best tips and tricks for when it's your turn to host, including themed meetings, recipes, and more.

01 of 08

Basics for a Book Club Party

women at book club meeting near entryway
Squire Fox

Book club parties are a good way to get friends together and have great discussion over appetizers, drinks, or brunch. Whether your book club is a few close friends or a larger group, hosting a book club party still takes some amount of planning. Food, seating arrangements, and discussion questions are just some of the things that should be taken into account when you're the host. On the next slides, see our tips for hosting a party, designing the invitations, choosing the book, and picking a fun theme.

02 of 08

Step 1: Choose the Book Club Book

stack of book club books
Blaine Moats

When choosing book club books, it's important to make sure they're ones most everyone can agree on. At the very first meeting, come up with a list of 20 books based on suggestions from each group member and distribute it to everyone. The host of the next book club will pick one from the list. To get ideas for your book list, look up book reviews for books on bestseller lists, or see if your local library has a list of recommendations.

Editor's Tip: After the book is chosen, go online and look for discussion questions. Sometimes, the book publisher includes them at the end of the book or has a link to resources online. If there are no ready-made discussion questions, ask everyone to come up with at least one or two talking points before the next meeting.

03 of 08

Step 2: Choose the Book Club Host

Party hostess
Robert Jacobs

There are several options for choosing the first host (and subsequent hosts) for a book club party. The same person can host every time and have different people bring appetizers and small dishes for each meeting, or a different person can host every time. At the first meeting, put everyone's name on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl to choose the next host at random; the person drawn will host the next meeting and get to choose the next book. The host can decide whether to have the book club party at her house or at a separate venue, such as a restaurant or a coffee shop.

Editor's Tip: If you decide to host the next meeting at a restaurant, be sure to call ahead and make a reservation, especially if the venue has a private meeting room that you can reserve.

04 of 08

Fun Idea! Make a Bookmark Book Club Invitation

Bookmark book club invitation
Jason Wilde

Mark the date of the next book club party as well as your spot in the current book with this fun bookmark invitation. Type the party information (host's address, date and time of the party, and what people should bring) in a column and print on cardstock. Cut around the text to make a strip (perfect for a bookmark) and cut two slits in the top and bottom of the strip. Thread a separate strip of patterned paper through the slits, and tie colorful ribbon at the top to finish the bookmark invitation. Place it in a larger envelope to mail or simply hand out to group members.

05 of 08

Book Club Tip: No Cell Phones Allowed

Cell phone basket
Werner Straube

To keep conversation and discussion about the book flowing, have everyone switch their cell phones to silent mode -- or turn them off completely -- and put them in a basket in the center of the table. This simple step before you get started will help everyone get engaged in the book discussion.

Continue to the next slides for book club theme ideas.

06 of 08

Book Club Party Theme: Wine and Spine

Wine and Spine Book Club Party Theme
Helen Norman

There's nothing better than having a book club discussion over a few glasses of wine with your closest friends. Easy appetizers work best for this book club party theme, so we've chosen a few of our favorite cheesy bites to get you started. Plus, check out our tips on how to pair wine and cheese -- and get a free guide to print.

Guides to Wine:

See our complete guide to white wine

See our complete guide to red wine

Suggested Appetizers:

Gorgonzola & Pear Focaccia

Baked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Antipasti

See more warm and cheesy appetizer recipes

07 of 08

Book Club Party Theme: Book Club Bucket List

Stack of books
Adam Albright

If you want to set a challenge for your book club group, pick your books from the BBC's Big Read Top 100 list. The list, which can be found in many different places online, contains classics, such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and To Kill a Mockingbird, along with newer bestsellers, such as the Harry Potter series, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. To make the list seem more manageable, break it up into segments with 10-15 books each.

Party Food Suggestions:

Four-Cheese Pimiento Dip

Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

See more quick and easy party food recipes.

08 of 08

Book Club Party Theme: The Breakfast Book Club

Women at brunch
Greg Scheidemann

If breakfast or brunch with your girlfriends is a favorite weekend activity, why not include a book discussion? Meet at someone's house or a restaurant for a monthly brunch and book discussion. Make it a potluck-style gathering and have everyone bring their favorite breakfast food. See our suggestions for delicious brunch recipes, below. Don't forget the mimosas!

Tasty Brunch Dishes:

Ham, Asparagus, and Cheese Strata

Sweet Potato Hash with Spicy Hollandaise

Cornmeal-Blueberry Scones

See our recipe for a classic mimosa.

See more of our best brunch recipes.

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