The Seven People You’ll Find in Every Book Club

Book clubs are great places to meet fellow readers and embrace a shared love of books. But if you’ve been involved in multiple clubs, you’ll start to notice a few similarities among members. Here we’ve rounded up the seven people you’ll find in every book club. Which one are you?

The one who didn’t read the book

Oops, they did it again. In every book club there is one member who consistently is behind on their reading, sometimes even furiously skimming pages to catch up as the meeting begins. 


The one who agrees with everyone

Some readers prefer not to rock the boat. They aren’t attending book club meetings to engage in spirited debate, they’re there to read more and spend time with their friends. Easy to spot, they generally offer up an “I liked it!” and little more when asked about the book. The best thing about this type of member is you know they’ll always be in on your side when you drop a divisive opinion.


The one who hates every book

Everyone’s a critic, and this type of member takes the role to heart. They come to book club meeting armed with a bullet point list of what they thought worked and didn’t in the book. This member can be tough to impress, making it all the more satisfying when you’re the one to pick a book they actually love.


The one who tries to control the conversation

The most successful book clubs are ones with good leaders, but sometimes a single member can take over and monopolize the conversation. From shutting down non-book conversations to dictating which topics are covered, this member may let their passion for reading get in the way of having fun. Remind them that not every second of the meeting needs to be planned, and that allowing for an organic flow of discussion can be the best part of book club.


The one who derails the conversation

This member eagerly joined book club believing that it would likely be more of a eat, drink, and catch up club. While you’re trying to discuss Michelle Obama’s Becoming, they’re asking if you’ve seen the latest season of Netflix’s You. While you’re dissecting the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, they’re recapping their day. The best way to handle this member? Invite them over early to help set up and fit in the non-book chat before the meeting even begins.


The one who sticks to their comfort zone

We all know that one member who raises a skeptical eyebrow whenever a book is suggested that’s outside of their preferred genre. They’ll read literary fiction but no genre fiction, or they’ll agree to a mystery but no legal thrillers. Remind this member that book clubs are about experiencing new stories, and that their turn to pick is the perfect time to show their favorite genre off to others.


The one who ghosts
Where in the world is this member? Despite texts that read “see you soon!” and “can’t wait to chat about this one,” this member almost always disappears right before the meeting. There’s a last-minute excuse or perhaps they simply don’t show. They likely have the best intentions, and while some members may grow annoyed with the will they/won’t they show debate, we say look on the bright site: more food and wine for you. Cheers to that.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

  1. Have you (or do you know who has) ever put together a book lovers’ trip on the East Coast – to visit writers’ homes or homes of famous books (e.g., Little Women)? Any tips on where I might find that? We are looking for the must see!

    Thanks so much!

  2. These seven types of book group members are spot-on! And I love that you used Schitt’s Creek memes to bring the descriptions to life visually. OMG, my first-ever book group is now in its 29th year, and YES, we still have one member who is representative of each of these. Like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves! Just don’t ask me to out myself as to which one most frequently defines me…😂

  3. The one who forgets to bring food or always brings cheese and crackers.

    I am both! I always hated bringing food to our potluck appetizers get-togethers. I’d end up cutting up cheese and grabbing an opened box of crackers on the way out the door.

    My solution? I stopped bringing last minute junk and went all in when it was my turn to host,

    l provide ALL the food and try hard to match the menue to the book. I make theme-related dishes (carnival food for “All the Broken Things”).

    It’s become very popular with my book club and they know, there will be a ‘spread’ to make up for my empty-handedness during the rest of the year.

    I feel less guilt and they get elaborate charcuterie boards. You can read about some of these events #ontheblog

  4. Be kind to the new member who doesn’t know all of your rules -went to one tonight for the first time and there was no instruction for when things were getting started -a few of us were talking about pizza places as I just moved to the area and the one controlling member got mad and said “can we start now please”….agh. Turned off.

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