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Readers Circle Do you like to read? Are your friends avid readers? Do you enjoy discussing a book once you’ve read it? If so, then Readers Circle is the new way to bring you and your friends together over a topic you like–reading.

How to start your own Readers Circle

Step 1: Addressing the 5 W’s-Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

Who–Is it just friends and family, or are you going to open it up to the community? What is the average age, mostly teens or will adults be involved? Do you want to include your local bookstore or library?

What–What kind of books will you read? Will you discuss one book or one chapter per session? What about a character or theme-centered discussion? Will you
expect readers to prepare questions ahead of time?

Where–In your bedroom, basement, or living room?
Will the location change at every meeting? If the town is involved, can it take place at a local community center? How about your local library or bookstore?

When–How often will you meet? Once a month,
every other week? How long will each meeting last?

Why–To have fun with your friends while enjoying great books!

Step 2: Spreading the Word

After deciding the basic information covered by the 5 W’s, its time to get the word out-whether it’s with your closest friends or fellow classmates. But how do you get everyone together? You could make phone calls, start a phone chain, or design fliers and hang them in your favorite stores around the mall or in your local school or library. How about placing an ad in your school newspaper or bulletin? Or send out a mass e-mail.

Step 3: 1st Meeting

First meetings are always exciting and fun. In the first meeting, you can start with the discussion questions located in all Readers Circle books to get people talking. If there’s a lull in the conversation, remember to fall back on the five basic discussion-starters: Author, Setting, Plot, Character, and Themes.

Step 4: Spice up Your Meetings

Have fun with it! The main point of your book group is
to have fun and be with your friends. Here is a list of ideas to keep your book group meetings interesting:

Food theme–Where is the setting of your book? Does it inspire something culinary? For example, if your book takes place in the south you could provide southern food as a snack. Or if London is the setting how about high tea and scones?

Movie time–If your group has read a book that has been adapted to a movie or play, it might be fun to rent the movie or attend the play. Comparing the book to the performance always makes for interesting and lively conversations.

Attend author visits–For some variety, your group could attend an author reading. Your local bookstore or library might even be able to set up a personal author visit with your group.

Expand your horizons–A lot of books introduce readers to a different culture or period in histroy. Researching and learning more about the culture could be a fun project for your group. If you are reading a book about the Turkish-Armenian War, such as Readers Circle's Forgotten Fire, your group could take a field trip to a museum and learn more about the war and relate what you learn to the book.

Some Readers Circle books also offer a page of related Internet sites for more information. We've done the work of labeling them for you, now you and your book group can visit those sites and discuss what you've learned.