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Have you ever been in a book club meeting and the discussion just completely stalled?
Compare those meetings to the ones when the discussion flows and you just know that members will be eager to return.
If you want to have a successful book club, you need meetings that keep your members engaged.
Your first step in doing that? Ensuring that you bring excellent, thought-provoking book club questions to every meeting.
It may seem like a difficult task to prepare discussion questions for book club, but it doesn’t have to be! Starting with a list of questions that work for almost any book will make it easy to prepare for book club.
Read on to learn how best to use your list of book club questions, the best kind of book discussion questions, and how to find good book club discussion questions.
Also, grab a list of printable questions for book club and get ready to have a great conversation at your next meeting.
How to Use Book Club Discussion Questions
Use book club discussion questions to kick off a conversation about the book. General questions might be more helpful at the start of a discussion, while more detailed, specific questions might feel more appropriate as the group warms up.
Having a list of pre-written questions helps members get inspired, prompts questions and ideas that may not have been on their minds before the meeting, and makes for a more meaningful discussion.
Don’t be wedded to completing your list of book discussion questions; some meetings will flow without needing much prompting. If everyone is engaged, allow members to follow the conversation’s path; they may arrive in unexpected and wonderful places.
If the conversation stalls, however, that’s when your prepared list of book club questions can help get things moving again.
Questions can also help ensure that you are having a whole group discussion; if one book club member monopolizes the conversation, try directing a question at another member to ensure you’re getting different perspectives.
The Best Discussion Questions for Book Club
The best book club discussion questions are the ones that get members talking. Open-ended questions that require readers to dig into the book’s content–and their reactions to it–are the type of questions that will get people thinking, participating, and engaged in lively discussion.
The worst kind of questions? Rehashed versions of questions everyone has heard before that don’t get at members’ true thoughts and feelings about the book.
If you ask the same questions at every book club meeting, you run the risk of your conversations becoming tired and uninsightful. So even if you start with general questions every time, try to add some variety across meetings.
It’s always a good idea for the leader to prepare questions specific to the book. As a result, you’ll have a much more nuanced discussion, and members will likely be more engaged when discussing particular events, characters, and themes.
That said, some general questions work for almost any book, and some genre-specific questions can also help when crafting your plan. These questions can get the discussion going and lead the group into a deeper conversation about a specific book.
How to Find Book Club Discussion Questions
There are several ways to find discussion questions when preparing for a book club meeting. If your book includes a reading guide, you may find questions ready for you as soon as you finish the book.
Your most obvious next step might be to Google the book and add “discussion questions” at the end of your search.
You could also try searching Pinterest for book club questions, look on Goodreads, or check the publisher’s or author’s site–sometimes they offer resources for book clubs.
Your local library may also have book club resources, including discussion questions for popular book club books.
Author interviews may be an excellent source of questions; a quick search may unearth some interesting facts that shed new light on the book. Jot these down, share them with the club, and ask their thoughts.
If you need some inspiration before brainstorming your questions, check out the lists below for some of the best book club questions that work with many different books.
While these are general questions, use them as a jumping-off point to develop questions specific to your book and your book club’s interests.
PRintable Book Club Discussion Questions
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General Book Club Questions that Work for Any Book
These book club questions will work for almost any type of book and can be adapted to be more specific to what your book group is reading.
Mix and match the questions to create a list of book club questions just for your meeting–you don’t have to use them all.
Remember, if your group is engaged and having fun, you don’t have to get through your entire list.
Book Club Discussion Questions that Work for Any Book
Book Club Discussion Questions for Fiction Books
General book club questions can be a great way to get a book club discussion rolling. Here are a few questions to use with fiction books: