Alternative Book Clubs

booksBook clubs are popular library programs, and the North Dakota State Library offers a number of book club kits. However, if a typical book club hasn’t taken off in your library, or if you are looking to spice up or diversify your book club offerings, why not try a book club that’s a little different?

Here are some ideas that might work well at your library:

  • Cookbook Club – Book clubs often involve snacks anyway, so why not try making food the focus of your club? Emphasize your cookbook collection, learn new cooking skills, and have a selection of tasty treats at the end! Pick a theme or let members pursue their interests. A kitchen at the library is not required; everyone cooks at home and brings the end results to share. The Winnipeg Public Library has a successful cookbook club if you want to learn more about how they structure theirs.
  • Knitting Club – A knitting club gives patrons the opportunity to share patterns, progress, and projects. You may need to invest in some pattern books if your library doesn’t own any. With a knitting club, everyone chooses their own project and works at their own pace, so knitters of all abilities are welcome. The Winnipeg Public Library has helpful guidance for your getting a knitting club started at your library based on their experiences.

  • Choose Your Own Novel – If getting club members to agree on a novel is a struggle, a choose your own novel club provides patrons with the flexibility to read what they want and still have the opportunity to discuss it with other readers. One group used getting together for pizza as a motivator to finish their chosen titles.
  • Article Club – An article club is perfect for those who want to participate in a book club but don’t because they just can’t finish a novel in a month. Articles may not take as much time to read, but they can provide just as much interesting conversation. Check out this post to get an idea of the types of articles one club read. This is also a great club for readers who prefer non-fiction, though you could do a short story club for the fiction readers.
  • Creative Expression Club – If you want to prompt some interesting discussions, have your book club try creating some content inspired by their experience reading the book. We’ve previous covered Book to Art Clubs, and an article at the Nerdy Book Club provides 10 alternatives for expressing your thoughts about your book club choice. For instance, you could redesign the cover, or make a playlist of songs for the book.
  • Book to Movie Club – Try reading a book that has been turned into a movie. Then you can watch the movie and discuss the differences. You can use books that have already become movies, or you can get a jump on books that will soon be turned into movies. If you are trying to incorporate more non-fiction choices into your book club, a book-to-movie club is a great option.
  • Travel Book Club – If everyone wants to read the same book, choose books where traveling is a main aspect of the plot, or where the setting factors heavily into the plot. You can travel around the world by selecting a different city, state, country, or continent for each meeting. If everyone wants to read a different book, choose a locale and have everyone select a book set in or about that area. Reading a non-fiction book about a place is another way to get a club to try something new.
  • Biography Book Club – Everyone reads a biography of a different person, and then each person is given time to share what they learned about the person. You can narrow the focus by selecting a theme for the biographies, such as a shared country of origin, lived during a specific time time period, or a specific profession.

Have you tried an alternative book clubs at your library? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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One response to “Alternative Book Clubs

  1. I was searching for something just like this. I may suggest Choose Your Own Novel and the Biography, also Creative Expression Book Club. Excellent ideas!

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