Book clubs bring people together, but it can be intimidating to join a new group of readers. If you’ve recently invited someone new to join your group, you’ll want to make them feel right at home. Here’s a guide to welcoming someone new to your book club.
Give some backstory
Your new member is sure to be curious about how the group was first formed, and your other members are sure to love a trip down memory lane. Take a minute to share your history, how long your club’s been operating, and the best books you’ve read together.
Use your new member’s first meeting as an opportunity to refresh the entire group on how things run. Go over the selection process, meeting location and times, upcoming group events, and an overview of a typical meeting agenda. This will leave your newbie prepared and ready for this new chapter.
We bet your existing members will want to know more about the new reader joining your group. If your new member is comfortable, set aside some time to get to know them better. Here are five questions we recommend asking:
What’s the last book you read and loved?
Who’s your favorite author?
What’s a book you would recommend to the group?
What made you want to join a book club?
What are you most looking forward to about being in a book club?
Break the ice
Being new to a group can be difficult. Help your new member’s transition with a quick round of icebreaker questions or games! Write up a list of bookish questions and put them into a hat. Pass the hat around the room and have every member answer 1-2 questions. Here are a few fun ones we’d recommend:
Which literary family do you wish you could join?
What fictional world would you most want to vacation in?
Where is your favorite place to read?
What’s the first book you remember reading?
What’s your least favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
Give a gift
At the end of the day, your new member joined your club to discuss books. Don’t be afraid to dive right into that meeting’s selection. Just remember to help your new member along the way: Ask for their opinion, have members introduce themselves before speaking, and check in with them afterwards to see how they felt their first meeting went.