7 Top Tips

Guidelines for getting started

1 Group size 
A group of eight people is ideal. This number allows ‘space’ for quieter members to make a contribution, without feeling uncomfortable or intimidated.

2 How often? 
Aim to meet every four to six weeks. This interval provides members with an opportunity to read the chapter (accommodating different reading paces), and time for personal reflection.

3 People 
The more diverse the group the better! A mixture of age, experience and background all enhance the variety and richness of discussion. Consider the group make-up carefully, decide who you would like to invite and encourage them to come along.

4 Venue 
Most book groups meet in people’s homes, as the context is informal and relaxed. Group members can take turns to provide hospitality and light refreshments. It is important to find a venue/s that works for everyone. Cafes/bars and other public spaces can also provide a welcome space for such a gathering (as long as the background noise doesn’t prohibit discussion).

5 Stay focused 
The temptation for some book groups is to get distracted with “chitter-chatter”, rather than focusing on the book! To minimise such situations, leaders are encouraged to download the 7 Deadly Sins discussion guides, as a help to steer conversation by offering a set of questions and guidelines on each chapter. Good time-keeping is essential. 2 hours per session is recommended.

6 Memories 
Why not keep a book club journal or diary? Members may wish to note key points of learning, discussion highlights, inspirational stories, points of view, and perhaps a few photos marking special events.

7 Have fun! 
Shared experiences, both laughter and tears, can enrich and often build relationships, as well as commitment to group attendance.