Book Clubs in Meath Libraries, advice on starting an online book club and suggested reads
Book clubs are a regular part of our libraries events calendar with both adult and children's groups meeting regularly to discuss what they've read. We have a collection of multiple titles dedicated for Book Club Use, which is regularly updated to include new and interesting reads. Most of our Book Clubs run during the school term and take a break for the summer months. Places for children's book clubs are limited and must be booked in advance. Please contact your local branch for details of how to join each group.
Book Club Resources
If you're looking for inspiration for something for your book club to read then browse the list of resources below ranging from famous book clubs to tips on choosing what to read next.
Book Discussion | Choosing a Book | Setting up an Online Book Club
Choosing a Book
Choose a book that has enough content to inspire good conversation and debate.
Try and vary the genre and writing style of the books you are reading to keep the group fresh.
Either vote on the group's next read or take turns making the decision.
You could shadow the choices of some popular online or celebrity book clubs
Suggested Reads for Book Clubs
Love Reading's List for Reading Groups https://www.lovereading.co.uk/genre/grp/Reading-Groups.html
Goodreads List of Suggestions https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/19.Best_for_Book_Clubs
Ryan Tubridy Book Recommendations
Penguin's Lists for Book Clubs
Bookbub's suggestions are at www.bookbub.com/blog/popular-book-club-books-recommended-by-bookstores-winter-2018
Pick a book from the longlist or shortlist of various Book Awards
The discussion need not be of academic proportions (unless of course you want it to be!). But it is a good idea to have some structure to the meeting all the same. Options include
- a discussion lead by a group member with the leader rotating each meeting
- taking turns to give opinions on the book followed by debate/discussion
- following a set of discussion questions such as the ones provided by Lit Lovers Reading Guides
- selecting some published reviews (both good and bad) of your chosen title and use them as a starting point for discussion. Reviews can be found in newspapers, publisher's websites, Amazon and Goodreads.
A Short Guide on How to Set Up your own Online Bookclub:
With social distancing and self-isolation becoming a part of all our lives, an alternative to meeting up in the library/local café is needed, the solution could be setting up your own online bookclub.
According to Penguin you need to ask some questions before setting up a book club:
What kind of book club do I want to start?
What is the purpose of my book club?
How will the books be selected?
Also, you need to decide on that all-important name. Once you know what kind of reading community you’re looking to create, it’s time to get the plan in motion by selecting a platform.
Book Riot’s Online book club guide runs through some of the options - they argue that a service like Google Hangouts is good for replicating the live group experience though other options are available such as setting up a private group on Facebook, Instagram, Zoom or Goodreads, just make sure you are comfortable using your chosen platform before you launch your first virtual meet up.
Google Hangouts Video Call
You will need a google account to use this and once you have that you can use Hangouts to have video calls, phone calls or text based chats with up to 10 people. You should agree a scheduled time with people beforehand as Hangouts doesn't have a facility for scheduling in advance for ordinary google account holders. Decide on who will start the video call. This person should do the following:
Go to hangouts.google.com and Hangouts will open in a new window.
Click on video call
Click the INVITE PEOPLE button
Type the list of email address people you wish to invite in the box provided
The invitees should get an invitation to join the meeting - they should click JOIN and then off you go.
For more information and help visit https://support.google.com/hangouts/
Zoom (Free Version)
Zoom is easy to use and people can join a meeting via webcam or phone. You can have unlimited meetings. The meeting host must sign up but not the participants. You can have up to 49 participants at one time and meetings can last for 40 minutes. The meeting host can schedule a meeting and then share the meeting code with guests.
You can download the Zoom app for android, iOS or you can use it on a laptop or computer.
See the help section on Zoom's website to learn how to schedule a meeting depending on the device you're using.
Skype is easy to use and no sign-up required, even for the host. You can have up to 50 participants at meetings. The number you can see at any one time depends on what device you use. The host can create a meeting link which doesn't expire and there is no time limit to meetings.
When you create a meeting, Skype will launch its web app if you don’t already have the Skype app installed so there is no need to download software. It will work on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac.
Visit www.skype.com/en/free-conference-call/ for more help or to start a meeting
Sign-up is required for the host but not the participants of this service. Participants can dial in to the meeting instead of video if they like. Only those with Microsoft account can participate via video.Ability to remove participants from meeting. There is no time limit on calls. Microsoft lifted user restrictions on the free version in March.
For more information visit
Microsoft Teams Video Training
Popular Online Book Clubs
Alternatively here is a selection of popular Online Bookclubs you may also like to join:
- Club Leabhar is an online Irish language book club. As well as being a member of ClubLeabhar.com, you can take part in the activities of one of the Irish language book clubs throughout the country and abroad.
- Easons book club runs through their facebook page which includes for discussions, giveaways, and all the latest news from the world of books! Click on the ‘Discussions’ tab to see what the book-clubbers are talking about.
- Author Marion Keyes has started a fortnight online book club from her Facebook page
- Actor Reese Witherspoon loves reading, so she set up Reese’s Book Club on Instagram. Each month she selects a book and people discuss it in the comments section. You can find out more about it here
- Beth Sandland runs Beth’s Book Club, a Facebook group that holds scheduled monthly meetings to discuss each chosen book. You can also follow the club on Instagram. They read one book per month (and vote on the next read) and have scheduled monthly meeting to discuss with set questions
- Oprah’s Book Club talks to her fans about the books by sharing videos on her website, and you can chat about these reads on her Instagram page.
- Simon and Schuster run a Facebook book club that is open to anyone- you can post your opinions about books and there are also hosted discussions with authors and guests. For more information see Book Club Favorites on Facebook
- The Rick O'Shea Book Club is probably one of Ireland's most famous Book Clubs. Check out the website for more information and book reviews.
- The Richard and Judy Book is still a popular choice with readers - it's now exclusive with WH Smith and they announce a set of book club reads at several stages during the year. For more information go to the WH Smith Blog
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