- Note: This article refers to book clubs that are book reading and discussion clubs, not book sales clubs.
A book club is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to discuss books. One standard format is that the group selects a set of books in advance. The participants read the book. Then, they meet to discuss the book. Some books even provide questions or suggestions for discussion starting points. The club may appoint leaders to come with questions and to lead the conversation. The discussion may be an academic analysis or a casual chat.
Some libraries, schools, book stores and publishers help run book clubs, discussion groups or alternatively, a stand-alone session on one book or author, sometimes attended by the author. The libraries and schools may help by providing copies of the book. The book stores and publishers often support book clubs in part in order to sell books. They may provide discounts to clubs or for bulk purchases. In some places getting onto some book club lists has been a critical step in getting a book more widely read and sold.
A group may focus on a particular kind of book, author or topic. Some groups may be focussed more on learning more about a topic, but read books in support of their primary activities.
Other names for these groups are variations on "reading group", "book discussion series". There are also companies that run "book clubs" which resell from the publishers in bulk, usually at a discount, often with a mail-order service.
- Wikipedia's article on book discussion club