Support to Run Your Own Book Club

Private Book Club Services

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We're happy to help you start and manage your own book club! Private Book Club Services include:

Open House

Hold one of your meetings at the Library and enjoy a Private Book Club Open House.

Your Librarians will share information on using the Library and the Book Club Collection, how to download eBooks and eAudiobooks, previews of upcoming events, and guidance for picking titles for your book club to read.

Your are welcome to provide your own light refreshments. Alcohol is not permitted.

Book Supplies

We reserve multiple copies of your chosen title so that ideally everyone in your book club can easily get a book.

Copies will be available approximately one month ahead of your meeting date. Books are due five days after your meeting date.

You and your book club members can pick up and check them out at your convenience from Lake Forest Library (even if your members have cards from other area libraries). Your book club will have its own shelf space in the Library.

Keep in mind that we do not check whether someone is a member of your book club, meaning that anyone can borrow titles on your book club shelf.

If a member of your book club would like to read ahead, they can ask us to place a hold on next month's title for them.

Title Ideas

Our Book Club Collection is a convenient source for multiple copies of titles we recommend for book clubs. These books have content that is readable and leads to interesting discussions.

We are happy to provide other recommendations:

Keep in mind that multiple copies of new, bestselling titles are not readily available for us to borrow from other libraries for your book club. Please choose titles published at least 6 months before your discussion date.

Discussion Tips

Many of the titles in our Book Club Collection have discussion questions available.

For other titles, we are happy to help you find discussion questions and other information to enrich your book club meeting.

We have several ongoing book discussion groups at the Library. Your Librarians are familiar with the challenges of starting and running a book club, and are happy to share insights and ideas.


Request Book Club Services

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Your Book Club Information

If your member would like alternative formats of books, please let us know the amounts needed.
Have you used our Book Club Services before?
Please provide 3 dates and times (within the ranges listed below) for your Private Book Club's Open House at the Library.

Monday–Thursday, 9:00 am–8:30 pm
Friday–Saturday, 9:00 am–4:30 pm

Point of Contact's Information

Do you want to receive the Library eNews full of upcoming events, news, and more?
Preferred Contact

Your Meeting Information

Please provide as many dates and titles in advance as possible. We request at least 6 week's notice to help supply books for your meeting date. Use the Add button to add more meeting dates and book titles.
Meeting Date Requested Book Title Book Author
For best availability, please choose a title that is at least 6 months old.
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Books We Recommend

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Starting a Group

Decide how many people you want in your book club and stick to that number. It is hard to have a meaningful discussion with 40 people. 8–15 people is a great number to start.

Decide when you will meet and for how long. If meeting monthly is too much, meet every six weeks or every other month.

Decide where you'll have your meetings. Rotating members' houses? Panera? If you hold meetings at members' houses, do they provide food and beverages?

Decide on a theme and tone for the club. Will you read mostly mysteries, literary fiction, inspirational, nonfiction? You don't need to strictly stick to these kinds of books, but it helps give your group structure and will give your group more focus when trying to decide on a title.

Hosting a Discussion

The host for that month may select a number of questions, write each on an index card, and pass them out. Each member (or team of 2 or 3) takes a card, asks the group the question, and leads that discussion.

If you're hosting or leading, do some research on the book, the author, reviews, etc.

Allow time for socializing in the beginning. It is going to happen either way, so just build it into the schedule. Set a time limit of 30–45 minutes though, so that you can get to the actual discussion.

Don't feel you have to talk about each question! If the group doesn't have a lot to say about a topic or doesn't seem interested in the question, move on to a question that gets them talking.

If you're hosting or leading, consider making food or playing music that pairs with themes in the book.

Choosing Titles

Have each member submit an anonymous list of books they liked with a short summary. Drop it into a bowl or bag and at the end of each meeting pull out a title for the next meeting.

Substitute a movie for a book for a change of pace.

If reading a book is too time consuming, try podcasts or long magazine articles for discussion.

When deciding on a book, make sure it offers topics for discussion. Books that will stimulate a good discussion may contain:

  • Complex plots or characters
  • Complicated conflicts
  • Inspiring storylines
  • Hanging endings
  • Controversial subject matter
  • Periods of history
  • Social commentary

Don't choose books that are really long. You want to make sure people have enough time to read the book. Set a page number limit for your group and stick to it. 350–400 pages is a good amount.

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