Here are some strategies to help you make the most out of your book club discussion:
Read the book
Write down important page numbers
Come up with eight to ten questions about the book
Let others answer first
Make connections between comments
Occasionally direct questions toward quiet people
Rein in tangents
Don’t feel obligated to get through all the questions
Wrap up the discussion
Discussion Questions Tips
When writing your own book club discussion questions, avoid questions that are too general, such as “What did you think of the book?” Also avoid questions that have yes or no answers. You want to ask questions that are open-ended and help people talk about themes and how the book relates to deeper issues.
Do not make dismissive statements toward other people’s comments. Even if you disagree, take the conversation back to the book rather than saying “That’s ridiculous,” etc. Making people feel embarrassed or defensive is a sure way to shut down the conversation.
Help steer the conversation and make sure people take turns so that someone who is very outspoken does not dominate the conversation which can keep the quieter people from being able to contribute
Try to keep the conversation on the topic of the book and listen carefully to what is being said by participants