Hosting a Well-Read Black Girl Book Club: Running a Book Club Discussion

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Here, from Well-Read Black Girl (WRBG) book club founder Glory Edim, is the third chapter in the Well-Read Black Girl Ambassador Orientation and Book Club Starter Guide, which will help participating booksellers launch their book club.

WRBG teaserChapter 3: Book Club Discussion

During the meeting

  • Begin the discussion no more than 10-15 minutes after the scheduled time.
  • Take time to make introductions — you never know when you’ll have a new face and usually the only person in the room who knows everybody is you.

Icebreakers: Any one of the following should get the conversation started.

  • Ask each reader to answer the question “Did you like the book?” during introductions. Once introductions are over, you will have enough comments to get the discussion off to a good start.
  • Ask each reader to choose one word that describes the book.
  • Ask each reader if this is a book similar to what they usually read or not.

Pick out a specific passage from the book — a description, an idea, a line of dialogue — and ask members to comment on it.

Select a number of questions, write each on an index card, and pass them out. Each member takes a card and answers the question. For example, choose a primary character and ask members to comment on him or her.

Listen carefully to what is said by participants; rephrase a reader’s comment or question to be sure you and others understand what was meant.

Allow everyone the chance to contribute to the discussion; engage readers by posing open-ended questions.

Remind everyone of the next meeting time and title of next book. Have copies of the next book available for readers. Make sure the next book in the series is always available at the meeting preceding its discussion.

Every member should have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Give each member a chance to partake by asking everyone to come up with potential books. Hold a vote and let the group decide on your next title.

Visit the Well-Read Black Girl page on to learn more about the ABA-WRBG partnership and to sign up to participate.