Tips for book club etiquette:
- Read the book before arriving to the meeting. Some groups allow participants who haven’t quite finished to participate, but don’t make this a habit. Make a good faith effort to finish the book every time.
- Be prepared to discuss the book. You can do this by jotting down a few notes while reading the book. Take note of passages and quotes to discuss. Write down page numbers and any questions you may have.
- Turn your cell phone off or at the very least set it to vibrate.
- Be a good listener. Don’t engage in side conversations when someone else is talking.
- Be open-minded. Instead of complaining about a comment, provide thoughtful criticism.
- Be courteous and respectful of others even if you don’t agree with someone or if you didn’t enjoy the book.
- Don’t dominate the group. You may have many ideas about the book that you just can’t wait to share, but try to give everyone a chance by taking turns.
- Focus on the book. Sometimes discussions get off course. Remember that you are in a book club to talk about the book and keep your input relevant.
- Before inviting someone new to the group, talk to the group leader or discuss it with the group first.
Attending a book discussion should be an enjoyable experience. Following these tips will help your group stay focused on the book. Keep in mind that some groups are more informal than others; feel free to tailor these guidelines to suit your group. The goal of meeting to discuss a book is to have fun and learn something new. So keep your guidelines simple, and remember the most important tip of all:
“What happens at book club, stays at book club."