Select branches are now open for Stage 3, along with Library Takeout service and extended return hours. Details

Start your own book club!

Quick links:

Book Club Kits
Tips for hosting a successful book club

Did you know you can create your own book club with our ready-made book club kits? We give you everything you need to get started, plus some handy tips to make your event a success!

Book Club Kits

Each kit contains:

  • 10 copies of one title
  • Discussion questions
  • Tips for a successful book club
  1. Borrow a kit from any OPL branch.
    • To find a kit, search for ‘Book Club Kit’ in our catalogue and browse what we have available. Kits can be put on hold the same way any other title can, and picked up at your local branch. You can borrow two kits per card at one time.
    • You can keep the kit for up to six weeks, but they cannot be renewed.
  2. Host your club!
  3. Return your kit.
    • Kits can be only be returned during open hours, as they are too big for the book-drop.
    • The cardholder who checks out the book is responsible for all the materials, and the entire kit must be returned complete. The fine for overdue kits is $1 per day to a maximum of $10.

Tips for hosting a successful book club

So, you’re thinking of hosting a book club? Follow these tips and tricks to make sure your event is a success!

  1. Ask yourself the right questions.
    • When, where and how often will your book group will meet?
    • How long will each meeting last?
    • Do you want to serve refreshments?
    • What types of books will you read and how will they be chosen?
    • What is the role of the leader (or will you have one)?
    • Who will create the discussion questions?
  2. Choose the right book
    • Books with complex characters who live in difficult situations and are faced with difficult decisions are best for good discussions.
    • Look for books with unclear endings, common themes, and that raise interesting and relevant issues.
  3. Read the book, with discussion in mind:
    • Ask yourself questions, read carefully, and make notes as you go.
    • Ask tough questions of yourself and the book. Does it have meaning for you?
    • Analyze themes. What is the author trying to say in the book?
    • Get to know the characters — consider their faults and motives.
    • Notice the book’s structure. Do the chapters begin with quotes? How many people tell the story? Is the book written in flashbacks? Does the order make sense to you?
    • Compare it to other books and authors. Themes often run through an author’s works.
  4. Lead an engaging discussion!
    • Come prepared with 10-15 open-ended questions that can’t be answered “yes” or “no.”
    • Use an ice-breaker question at the start, like asking members to rate the book on a scale of one to ten. Asking this same question at the end of the session can produce interesting results, as the discussion often causes participants to re-evaluate their initial position.
    • Let the discussion flow naturally, but use the questions to guide the discussion and keep it on track.
    • Remind participants that most questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. Go beyond “I just didn’t like it” statements. What was unappealing? The style? The characters? The setting? Books that inspire strong reactions lead to great discussions.
    • Balance the discussion between personal thoughts and responses to the book. Keep it focused on the book and above all, keep it fun!