Book Club


The Hardcover Society is the name of the teen book discussion club at my library.  Hardcover Junior is for grades 5-8 and Hardcover High is for grades 9-12.  For most of the year, each club reads different books but on occasion, we will read the same book.

We meet the second Thursday of every month at 6-7pm at Culvers.  Each Hardcover member receives a book to keep and we have sodas and french fries at Culvers.

For discussion questions and Content, please click book covers below.  Books and questions will be added monthly.

Club Rules:

  • Teens must attend three consecutive meetings before they may receive a free book.
  • If they miss three meetings during twelve months, they may no longer receive a free book.

During Each Meeting:

  • We usually begin at 6:10pm. This gives teens time to get their sodas and get their socializing out before we discuss.
  • We discuss for 30 minutes. That’s about how long their attention span is.
    • The final 20 minutes is reserved for important club info, giveaways, what every one is reading.

Special Activities-Every once in a while we break up the monotony and do some fun stuff.

  • We read and discuss a book then we’ll go see the movie.
  • We invite an author to visit.  We read the book first.
  • We go to an amusement park.
  • We’ll have dessert instead of french fries.

Books-We switch it up all the time.  We do different genres, graphic novels, and throwbacks.  We try to do newer books to decrease the chance that the teens have previously read the book.

Tips:

  • Always read the book first.
    • If you have a younger group with picky parents, it’s important to read the book to make sure there’s no sex or language.
    • If you pick a bad book, teens won’t finish the book and they won’t come to discussion.
    • Reading the book allows you to make discussion questions.
      • Many times, newer books or underrated books won’t have discussion questions online.  It’s very difficult to create questions if you haven’t read the book.
    • The discussion is much more enjoyable if you can talk about the book.
  • Pick a good discussion book
    • Some books are great but there’s not much to talk about and your discussion will last 5 minutes.
      • Sometimes fantasy books don’t make great discussion books unless there’s some type of lesson, conflict, etc.
  • Know your teens
    • Teens come with varied intellectual levels.  If you have a long question or a question that asks you to interpret a quote, break it down line by line.
    • Ask fun questions-favorite/least favorite character; if they liked the cover; favorite part of the book; etc.

How Do I Get My Discussion Group Started?

It took us about one year to get a consistent group.  It is a constant struggle because teens age and graduate and get jobs and have other school activities so we are constantly trying to attract new teens.  Here are some tips to get your group started and how to keep it going.

  • Look at your circ stats and begin with popular books such as Hunger Games, Divergent, Wimpy Kid, Maze Runner, etc.
  • To start off, don’t call it a book club because it sounds like school, call it a party or event.  Have snacks, games, and crafts.  This is effective for a younger group.  For teens, consider doing your first discussion around a movie release when they book is well promoted and have a release party.  Pinterest is a great resource for a Divergent party or 5th Wave party.  Once you get a good group, then you can call it a discussion.
  • The good thing about a book club is that it’s monthly so you can change times or days of the week to get desired attendance.  Our club meets on a week night so we aren’t competing with weekend plans and teens with working parents can attend.
  • Once we began giving the book away, our attendance sky rocketed.  If you can’t afford this, consider paperbacks or your library’s friends group.
    • Twitter and Goodreads has #booksfortrade.  When you weed your collection, you can trade with these readers. If you can trade several copies of the same book, you are set.  There is, of course, a shipping fee but if it’s a library program; they library should be able to pay for the fees.
    • Try eBooks.  You’ll have to purchase several Kindles but after you buy them once, you only have to pay for the eBook and the price varies but you can put one book on three devices.
    • Keep it going by providing incentives to teens who invite friends to join.
    • Visit you district middle school/high school’s book club and invite them.
    • Invite teens who read a lot for your summer reading club.

paper townsall the bright places   I'll give you the sun

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