How To Get Your Book Club Out of a Rut

A person asleep in a chair with a book over their face

Book club meetings are fun, but sometimes they need a shake-up. Maybe your club has been meeting for a while and has settled into some patterns that aren’t exciting anymore. Never fear: We’re here with tips to help you get your school, library, or personal book club out of a rut.

The Problem: The same people always dominate the conversation

The Solution: A little bit of structure can help make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. Start your meeting by going around in a circle and asking each member to weigh in on what they thought about the book. You can use this method throughout the meeting as you move to new topics. Here are more ideas on how to structure discussions.


The Problem: The conversation feels stale

The Solution: Check out a discussion guide, read some book reviews, or share some interviews with the author. These materials are likely to give you lots of things to talk about other than rehashing the plot and talking about what you did and didn’t like about the book. Our Book Club Kits are packed with everything you need to kickstart the conversation!


The Problem: You keep reading the same kind of books

The Solution: Mix things up a little and try an entirely new genre. Does your book club only read literary fiction? Get your heart pumping with a thriller. Does your book club love nonfiction? Shake things up and try a graphic novel. Check out our advice on selecting a book, how to use NetGalley to find great picks, what to do when you can’t decide what to read, and how to perfect your selection process.


The Problem: You’re over the routine

The Solution: Break the rules! No one says your book club has to read a book every month. Shake things up by attending an in-person or virtual author event together, have a movie night, or hold a silent reading party.


The Problem: You’ve tried all the advice but nothing seems to work

The Solution: Members coming and going, changing reading tastes, and differing schedules can all have a major impact on your book club. If you’re looking around and thinking that the club’s original purpose is no longer matches what its members need, don’t be afraid to try something completely different. Here are 20 unique book club ideas (and 10 more!) that can help breathe new life into your group.


Need more inspiration? Chat with your fellow book club members about how they’d like to change things up!


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.

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