Reading is a solitary experience. Any attempts to turn it into a group activity -- reading over someone's shoulder, aloud, etc. -- are never as pleasurable as just taking in text on your own. But that doesn't mean books can't bring people together; in fact, it's just the opposite. Book clubs are made up of people who have one thing in common: a true love of reading.
Book clubs are sometimes formed by friends, while others are organized by complete strangers. Clubs can be made up of people from all over the world with various cultural and religious backgrounds. All that's needed is a desire to read and discuss. Books clubs meet regularly -- whether in person or online -- to delve deep inside the meanings of selected works. It's a nice way to gather with old friends (or new ones) and have an intellectual discussion about a work you may otherwise have never read.
Are you inspired to start a book club of your own? In order to host meetings full of passionate discussions, you'll need to find the right number of members to join your club. A small group of five to eight people is usually an ideal size for a book club -- too many members can lead to scheduling conflicts, and finding a venue to accommodate a large group can be challenging. Spread the word about your club by using social media, or post a notice at your office, church or a local library to recruit new members. You can even form an online book club and find members through a book publisher's Web site.
Now that you have some potential members in mind, you need to decide as a group how serious or casual you want your book club to be. Are you a group of literary scholars dedicated to dissecting every aspect of a selection or a close group of friends who want to get together every few weeks to socialize? Maybe your group will fall somewhere in the middle, leaving time to hang out before or after gathering to discuss a book.