It’s your turn to host your book club’s monthly meeting. Taking a quick look around your home, you realize that you don’t really have a specific space for entertaining a smaller group. Not to worry! Setting up an area for a book club party can be pretty easy if you take the time to get organized in advance. Below is a basic checklist with some novel ideas (bad pun, we know) for creating an inviting area for discussing this month’s book selection…or just engaging in some girl talk!

  1. Decide on the space. We recommend the living room or den, the dining room, or the kitchen if it’s big enough. If you have an area for outdoor entertaining and the weather’s particularly nice, consider setting up there. Can’t decide? Think about creating a setting based on the book’s theme. For example, if this month’s selection was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an outdoor party would perfectly mirror the main character’s love for reading on her balcony in the shade of the tree that grows around it.pbc2
  2. Have multiple options for seating. Toss some decorative pillows or poufs around for those who prefer to stretch out on the floor. Arrange chairs, ottomans, stools, and floor cushions to create a conversation area, giving everyone equal chance to jump into the discussion.
  3. Make sure there’s plenty of light. During the discussion, club members might want to refer to the book or any notes they might have taken while reading. If your meeting is during the day or early evening, open the curtains and blinds for a little natural illumination. If the event is at night, check that the overhead lighting or lamps will provide enough light for every point of view.pbc3
  4. Plan for convenience. It’s always a good idea to provide food and drinks or have club members bring something to share. Remember to have surfaces available for people to rest their plates, napkins, and glasses. A coffee table, some side tables, and even a few trays are all great examples. By the way, creative food and drinks are another fun way to contribute to a theme.pbc4
  5. Decorate. What’s a party without a little décor? It’s the little details that make a gathering memorable. Keep things festive by trimming the space with accessories that have something to do with the book you’ll be discussing. (There’s that theme business again!) If the book is a mystery or thriller, try placing candles around the room, playing some ominous music, and even putting a black-and-white Hitchcock film on the TV—on mute, of course. If romance was the genre, fill the room with flowers, hearts, and lively music. Check out Pinterest for some amazing ideas for themed book club parties.

We hope our tips have inspired you to be the best book club hostess of the bunch. As long as you prepare well in advance and make sure to anticipate the needs of your guests, the party will be a success. And remember: the details are what really make things special. Do you have any winning stories or horror tales about book club parties? What other tips do you have that will help others create the perfect book club setting? Let us know in the comments section!