The Dos and Don’ts of Having an Outdoor Book Club Meeting

The Dos and Don’ts of Having an Outdoor Book Club Meeting

outdoor book club meeting

Summer is nearly here, which means the temperatures are getting warmer and the days are getting longer. In other words, conditions are getting better and better for an outdoor book club meeting. Read on for the dos and don’ts of taking your club outside.


Do consider the lighting

If you’re meeting at night, it’s going to be dark. If you’re meeting during the day, the sun’s glare could be substantial. Plan to provide additional light or shade as needed to keep your fellow readers focused on the conversation.


Don’t forget the SPF

Unless you are meeting in the dead of night, consider setting out some sunscreen for your book club members. Sunburn and skin cancer are no joke, and everyone will feel more comfortable getting caught up in the conversation if their skin is protected.


Do provide snacks

The logistics of an outdoor book club meeting may be slightly more complicated, but that’s no excuse to forget about one of the most delightful aspects of book club meetings: snacks! Make sure you pick provisions that are portable and not too perishable.


Don’t forget about potentially unwelcome guests

Sure, you invited your friends to your book club meeting. But be prepared for some uninvited friends to show up, particularly if you’re serving food. Keep an eye out for creepy crawlies, and consider a citronella candle to keep the mosquitos at bay.


Do think about the temperature

Is it a chilly evening? Advise your guests to bring an extra layer, and maybe even provide some blankets. Is it super warm out? Consider setting up in the shade. Being thoughtful about the weather will make everyone more comfortable.


Don’t use breakable dishes

Accidents happen, particularly in the great outdoors. We recommend that you avoid using your most precious and breakable dishes and glassware when hosting an outdoor book club. Opt for durable plastic and enjoy your meeting without worries!


Do make a backup plan

You never know when an unexpected thunderstorm, heat wave, or strong wind will roll through your neighborhood. Have a plan B in mind just in case the weather does something crazy (after all, bookish umbrellas can only help so much). If you’re forced indoors, there’s always next month!


Don’t forget that some locations work better than others

It’s a fact: Some locations can be distracting. You probably won’t want to hold your meeting somewhere loud or super crowded. We recommend trying out backyards, quiet corners of your favorite park, or even restaurants or bars with outdoor patios.

Elizabeth Rowe
Elizabeth is Bookish's Senior Editor and a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in Nonfiction Writing. She is based in San Francisco and can frequently be found at Philz with her nose in a book. Her current obsession is the My Struggle series by Karl Ove Knausgaard, and she thoroughly embarrassed herself when she met him shortly after the release of volume four (and she has the photos to prove it).


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