How to Host a Virtual Book Club

Originally Published April 10, 2020 by Fifty Shades of Mommy

Reading is a passion of mine but I don’t always have time to sit and read. As a parent, I feel guilty for sitting around reading when there is so much other stuff I should be doing. Now that we are not able to go out and about, I have a little bit more time to read. Seven years ago I started a book club and I’ll be resurrecting it by hosting it virtually. And I’m SO excited!

Hosting Your Virtual Book Club

  1. First, you will need to find others with similar likes when it comes to reading. Do you like fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, romance, etc.? Start small, you can always add others later.
  2. Come up with a fun name for your group – mine is Reading Between the Wines and we even have a logo.
  3. Create a Facebook group (if everyone is on Facebook) where you can post about when you will be meeting, what you will be reading, etc.
  4. Choose a book and a timeline as to when you would like to discuss the book. We meet monthly. For some faster readers, you could meet weekly or even every other month for those that are busier.
  5. Right before your meeting, you can post in the group some discussion questions. This gets everyone thinking ahead of time and can keep you focused during your meetings. Most discussion questions can be found online if you don’t feel like writing them yourself.
  6. Create an event! Set up a virtual meeting and have fun! Everyone can grab their favorite drinks and snacks and you can practice safe social distancing while discussing a fun book. Enjoy!

Tools You Can Use to Set up a Virtual Book Club Meeting:

  1. Utilize Zoom
    • You will need to sign up (it’s free)
    • Your free account (Basic plan) has a 40-minute time limit on ‘meetings’ with 3 or more participants. You can host up to 100 participants. If you choose to talk to your family 1 on 1, you have unlimited time.
    • Go in and set up a meeting and invite users. This way you can have something scheduled ahead of time and send out the invite early.
  2. Utilize Google Hangouts
    • You will need a Google/Gmail account for this.
    • Click on ‘start a hangout’ and invite people by entering their email addresses or copy the link to share.
  3. Utilize Google Meet (very similar to Zoom)
    • You will need a Google/Gmail account for this.
    • Sign up for a 14 day trial to see if this is the direction you’d like to go. After that you will have to pay a small monthly fee.
    • You can start a meeting right away or schedule one through Google Calendar and invite via email or by sharing the link.

Even after we are safe to stop social distancing ourselves…this might become a thing. Happy Reading and Happy Meeting!

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