Book clubs are popular for moms to engage with other women where the focus isn’t their children. If you don’t know of a group already going, you can start your own: first by finding a group of people who want to expand their literary library over summer.

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In order to be successful, try to anticipate any distractions that may cause a group member to miss their reading. For example, research the titles for e-books and browse the reviews. Send your group an email that tells them what e-versions are accurate so they can download correctly. Many readers get discouraged when they download a free book or a $2.99 title that is missing a chapter or is full of glitches. You may also want to be sure that your local library has many copies of a title before you choose it. Additionally, many libraries will allow you to place a “hold” on multiple copies if you are hosting a book club. Check with your local librarian to see if this a possibility.

Once you’ve assembled a group of readers, type out a plan and agree on titles months in advance. Always be careful you all have the right versions of the book: abrigded, unabridged; with discussion, without.

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Here are some points Oprah suggests for you to consider before you send invites:

  • Price points: new titles cost crisp dollars.
  • Who will pick the book each time? TIP: Keep the votes anonymous.
  • How will discussions be lead; will you lead?
  • Who will keep a record of all the books read, when they were discussed, and who suggested them?
  • And if you are meeting in person: Where will subsequent meetings be held? In the same location, at the home of that meeting’s leader, or in a community room somewhere else, like a library or bookstore?
  • Will refreshments be served? (We certainly enjoy them—try these recipes!) Who will provide them? Will they be connected to the theme of the book being discussed? Check out Skinny Mom’s skinny appetizers and snacks — perfect for a book club meeting!

If you’d like to test the waters by joining a club already in progress, check out these online sources: