How to Start a Book Club

Keep It Tight

No less than five members, no more than 10. Too few people and you may as well be lighting candles, laying out yoga mats and passing around hand mirrors. Too many, and it ceases being a bookclub and officially becomes a party. Unless, of course, that is exactly what you planned all along, you diabolical scamp.

Talk To Your Local Bookshop

Bookshops run their own clubs, but they’re also invaluable if you’re starting your own. Smaller independent bookshops will often have staff members who specialise in clubs. It’s worth making an appointment with them to see what they can offer you. Depending on the bookshop, some can even host your book club in their café, or hold mini presentations of new releases that might suit you for next month’s title. Some shops can organise discounts if your members buy a minimum number of books too. Just ask. Continue reading

I Shouldn’t Have Done That

Even now, my father tells me there is no point in regretting things. “If you’ve done something bad,” he says, “what can you do about it now? You can’t undo it, so learn from whatever you did and move on. There’s no use dwelling, is there?” It’s good advice, but Dad never made it clear how far this philosophy should extend, like whether it should include things like murder, bestiality or joining the Young Liberals.

Either way, it didn’t work: I’ve grown up to become an expert dweller and professional regretter. Most of my regrets are about offending people. I don’t mind grossing people out (everyone is so uptight nowadays, you’d think they’d never seen their own anus), but making people legitimately upset or causing emotional distress when they don’t deserve it? Well that’s an entirely different thing altogether. Continue reading