Not Your Average Book Group

Looking for ways to kick up your book group this summer? At a recent Booklist webinar, several publishing bigwigs tossed around ideas for making your group more social and less stuffy.

Magazines. If you're stressed for time and reading Cutting for Stone in four weeks just isn't going to happen, then consider using an issue of a magazine or just one article. You can now put magazines on hold through your online account at the AADL, and the title selection is massive. Try a trending topic in a lesser known mag, like Commentary or The Crisis. Or go for the adventurous with Rock and Ice or Ski.

Go Out. Minnesota's largest open book group goes by the name Books & Bars, who says their group "isn’t your mother’s book club. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and drinks." They read everything from The Hunger Games series to McCarthy's The Road.

Some libraries are also organizing book groups in social settings, like Skokie Public Library's LitLounge, which hosts book swaps and trivia nights in addition to discussions. At the Oak Park Public Library in Illinois, they have Genre-X, a twenties and thirties book group that meets at The Snug, a room at the local brewpub and discuss in person what they've been chatting about via their Goodreads group.

For more book group ideas from Booklist, check out their quick and insightful blogs.


Great ideas. I particularly like the idea of reading magazine articles on interesting topcs. Our book club often has trouble getting through a book each month given how busy everyone is. We also recently starting using Goodreads - a great resource for book lovers.

I recently formed a book club with some friends to read Speculative Fiction, and so far it has been really interesting and insightful. Also, as a way to keep in touch with some friends who moved away, we started a Lunch Break Reading Club, where we take turns picking an interesting article from the Internet that we found recently and then discussing by email. A good way to spend a lunch hour.


these are great ideas


I notices the Ypsi library sponsors book groups. What about AA?

Will check these out......

Awesome.Lots of people will join.

bradyemmett, that's a great idea. LitLounge Club has a facebook page where they post supplementary book material they find online, like comic strip reviews and organizational flow charts for character relationships, etc. This helps their group stay excited about meeting up and in the case of A Visit from the Goon Squad, keep the characters straight too.

These are great ideas. I've been interested in joining a book club, but I can never be certain I'll have the time to finish a book in time. magazines and articles are a great solution.

These are great ideas. I've been interested in joining a book club, but I can never be certain I'll have the time to finish a book in time. magazines and articles are a great solution.

This is a great idea for those short on time, but still want the intellectual stimulation of reading and discussing. Articles!

How about reading the newspaper! That would be something.



@Macallan Great idea. Thanks for the tip. I've been trying to convince my co-host we need to have a facebook group for our club. This gives me a good reason to add to my list. (Although honestly, I'll probably do it in Google+.

These ideas rock!!!!!!




Love the idea of reading magazines and discussing articles!

You can always blend the idea of reading articles and books by bringing reviews. It's very interesting sometimes to compare a group's opinion with critical reviews, but we always turn to them after we've fairly well exhausted other lines of conversation.

MeganH --> I love this idea.





good to think about