22 Mar 2016

Setting up a book club (that actually meets up)?!

Recently I decided to set up my own book club and it's definitely come with some upsides and some downsides. I really want to make a blog post about what I've found difficult and what I'm loving about this new adventure, so here goes...

My job is 99.9% online based. I make my designs on a computer in the office of my house, I upload them to online companies that do the printing and processing for me, I pack bookmarks and advertise them all online, so my chances at human interaction haven't been so great these last couple of years. I wanted to create something that would still be related to my job (so I wouldn't feel too guilty for taking time away) and something that would allow me to meet and greet like minded, YA loving people.

So, my book club, which still has a pretty general name that needs changing, was born.

Living in Auckland, NZ has definitely been a difficult place to start something like this. We have a rather small population and a much smaller percentage of that loves to read YA books. Nevertheless, I reached out to as many people as I could. Found some NZ based bloggers, asked if they'd like to join, messaged friends and family and advertised all over social media. We now have 70+ members which is very exciting! Hopefully people will bring friends, siblings, parents, classmates who also love reading along to each meeting so we have even more members!

We don't get very many authors visiting us over here in NZ. We get to see all the things Australian/everywhere else readers get to experience, but we just sit here staring at the photos all over Bookstagram or we have to hop on a plane and spend a lot of money to meet our favourite authors. I'm kind of hoping that if I can get a large group of people in one space who meet regularly that we might be able to have an Auckland meet up. Even if I have to beg authors to visit.

My fiance, who is amazing, has decided that he's going to attend each meeting and read the books as well, which has made me feel very relieved. I think it's great to have someone who's willing to support you in everything that you do. I hope he'll enjoy it, and it'll be good to have some male presence in the group so it's just not fangirls!

I've decided that the book club will meet up once every 5-6 weeks, we've set up a Goodreads group, and are currently choosing our first book. At each meeting I'll be running a discussion about the book we just read, and running a quiz and a game relating to the book where there'll be a heap of spot prizes (things like books, signed books, gift cards for books, movie tickets for book adaptations, bookmarks, mugs, journals, subscription boxes, etc) There'll be a randomly drawn prize (everyone will get a number when they walk in) and prizes for winners of the game and/or quiz! Then we'll move on to a general book discussion and take suggestions for our next book.

I think we need to have a Facebook Page that's specifically for this club, mostly because Goodreads kind of makes general chatter and posts kind of difficult. You can't just post something, you have to have a discussion running and the Goodreads app can be a real pain! I've noticed that sometimes when you post a comment or send a message the little 'send' button won't load anything, so you end up pushing it a million times till the page reloads... turns out each press is a post and I've sent a million messages. My inbox is full of duplicate messages because of this!

Honestly, I'm kind of nervous this thing will fall flat on it's face. It's not a first for me to be running a club, so I know what I'm in for, it's just all I can think about is sitting in this room staring at a bunch of empty seats and thinking "Damn, this is insanely embarrassing" it's worse than the public-speaking-while-naked dreams that everyone claims to have! It's just that I've never run a club that's mostly strangers, and while I hope I'll be able to convince a few of my friends to join they're all at Uni doing insane degrees and might not have time. I'm quite a shy person, so hopefully I can bite the bullet and this will be amazing.

I will definitely be blogging about our first meeting, which will hopefully be sometime in April/early May, I'm really looking forward to it! Anything to extend my reach where I live is amazing. Next up is contacting a library that will have the space/time for us. We're going to be meeting on a Saturday when the library closes at 4pm, so I need to make sure it's not too close to closing time in case we run over and don't get to finish what we're doing.

I'm hoping we'll be able to organise things like trips to Hobbiton (I'm going to try and reach out to companies for discounts), trips to other LoTR/The Hobbit filming locations, cinema outings to see films that were originally books, writing workshops were we can read out stuff out and get some feedback, etc so it'll be a really fun book club to be a part of!

If you run a book club or have been/are a part of an amazing book club I'd love to hear some suggestions! I want to make these meetings something that you desperately look forward too.

Let me know in the comments below what you think!

If you're living in Auckland, NZ and would like to join the group, click here.


  1. I'm looking forward to this! I'm a shy person too but this is such a great idea. x

    Emma |

  2. Okay I just found this and I am totally in!! I'm @oosterbook on instagram and would love to connect with my fellow NZ bookstagrammers! I am so in!