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How to Start A Book Club and Read Great Books With Friends

How To Start a Book Club
So, you want to read great books with friends? We'll show you how to start a book club!

Reading together and mental wellness

There’s no better way to connect with friends and colleagues than talking about books. We know that reading can make you happier and healthier, and Fable is designed for people to share the joy of reading. We are a social platform for book clubs that can be either private (closed and available by invitation only) or public (open and available for anyone to join). What is a Fable Book Club? Fable Book Clubs are essentially virtual book clubs. We’ve built a turnkey solution so anyone can start their own book club and host engaging conversations while reading books together.You can read more below, but here are the steps we'll cover about how to start a book club on Fable.
  • Discover book clubs that match your passions
  • Choose a book to read with your friends
  • Open your Book Club
  • Start a conversation
  • Learn from moderation 101
  • Tell us about your Book Club

Discover book clubs that match your passions 

Begin by exploring our Featured Book Clubs. These FREE groups are moderated by well-known authors, leaders, and communities. They are open to anyone with a Fable account.This is what you need to do to join a Featured Book Club: 
  • Sign up for a Fable account
  • Browse our Featured Book Clubs 
  • Click “Join club” when you find a club that’s right for you
  • You are in! Buy the book the club is reading or jump right into a FREE classic
  • Read and share your thoughts
  • Turn on notifications on your device so you never miss a comment

How to start a book club on Fable

When you are ready, you can start your own book club on Fable with these simple steps. 

1. Choose a book to read with your friends 

The Fable Bookstore has a catalog of millions of books, including many free classics. You can use the magnifying glass icon at the top right corner of the screen to find the book you want to read. Fable Folios contain exceptional stories handpicked by well-read experts and tastemakers. Every week, curators choose books for Folios that revolve around a particular topic or theme. You can create your own book lists on Fable as well, and share them with other readers!We make it easy to find your next good read, and we regularly update these selections with books across all genres. You can also check out timely reading lists on our blog.Book summaries and Discussion Prompts have been custom written for all Fable Folio selections to keep your book club discussions flowing. The “Book Club Ready” collection on our homescreen focuses on these great reads for book clubs. Discussion prompts appear throughout the ebook when reading a Folio book with the Fable app. These are also available on the “Book Details” page for every Folio selection in the Fable Store. A free PDF containing these prompts is posted alongside the book’s title for anyone to download if they prefer to read the book in print, audiobook, or another format.Book Club Discussion Prompts

2. Open your Book Club

Now that you’ve chosen a book, you can start your own book club with friends and host lively discussions inside the book.
  • Click the “Book Clubs” icon at the bottom of the Homescreen
  • Press “Create New Club”
  • Choose a name and description for your Book Club
  • Invite the first readers to join your club 
  • Add the book you selected 
Once your club is created, you can invite more friends and colleagues to join the discussion from your club screen:
  • Click the wheel icon in the upper right-hand corner to access the “Invite Readers” screen 
  • Share the invite through email, text messages, Slack, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media tools 
  • Copy the invite link to your clipboard and share it wherever you wish
invitefriends

3. Start a conversation

Beyond just starting a book club, the Fable app makes it easy for you to share your thoughts, highlight favorite lines, take notes, and start book club discussions right inside the book. Once you’ve invited everyone, open your club book and explore Fable’s social reading features. Lightly tap the top of your screen to access Fable’s custom head-up display. There, you can:
  • Navigate the book by chapters or highlights 
  • Choose your preferred font and text size  
  • Select day or night mode
  • Join the club conversations 
  • Turn “Read in Social Mode” ON or OFF
    • In social mode, you will see club members’ highlights (and club members will see yours)
    • In personal reading mode, you won't see club members’ highlights (and club members won't see yours) 
    • All your notes are always private, no matter which mode you use 
You can immediately kick off a Book Club conversation with an introduction to the book, a statement about why you chose it, or ask your club members to introduce themselves. Start by highlighting a favorite passage and adding a comment:
  • Tap and hold the first word of your favorite passage
  • Drag your finger to highlight the complete passage
  • Resize the highlight by moving the blue pins
  • Tap your completed highlight
  • Press the “Add Comment” button to share your thoughts about the passage
  • Add emojis and photos from your camera roll to spice up your comment
  • Share a link to a related article, image, podcast, video, or other content inside your comment
This creates a comment thread within the book. Club members can add their thoughts, share more links, and even watch a video or listen to a podcast without ever leaving your thread!If your club is reading a book from one of Fable’s Folios, discussion prompts are available throughout the ebook when you’re reading inside the Fable app. Simply keep reading until you see a green “Let’s Discuss” button at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Tap the “Let’s Discuss” button
  • Read and ponder the discussion prompt 
  • Click “Join discussion” to add your thoughts
Book Club Social Mode in Fable

Book Club Moderation 101

Now that you know how to start a book club, here are a few ways to get the most out of the experience, and how you can run a book club discussion that’s meaningful and engaging! Check out our Fable Community Guidelines for more guidance.As the Book Club moderator, you can help steer club conversations by being consistent with your notes and discussion prompt answers. You can set reading milestones to keep your Book Club on track.Some conversations might take a while to get rolling, so we always recommend you jump in first and break the ice. Daily check-ins are also a great way to keep people engaged in the conversation, and it’s always helpful to post reading goals at least once a week in your chat. You can make conversations and discussions even more engaging with these simple strategies:
  • Ask a few questions that don’t require any reading
  • Encourage members to share an emotion or experience inspired by the book
  • Use “@Username” to tag specific people with questions
  • Type “@Club” to ask all Book Club members the same question
  • Respond to all comments with a supportive thought, followed by a new question 
  • Turn on notifications on your device to follow club conversations
  • Post pictures
  • Go ahead and be adventurous, post links to relevant music playlists, podcasts, or videos. You can curate everything that is connected to the story in the book. Make it fun! 
Book club icebreakers

Tell us about your Book Club

Congratulations! By starting a book club, you’ve now joined the Fable community, connecting with your friends, family, and colleagues through an ever-expanding network of book lovers. “Over the past 10 years, we have been remembering how important it is not only to consume great books, but to talk about that consumption,” said Pantheon publisher Lisa Lucas, talking about the growing book club movement in the New York Times. “It’s so much more obvious in a digital world, that we’re all reading the same thing.” We love seeing what our Fable members are doing with their Book Clubs, what you’re talking about, and what books you’re reading. Tell us about your favorite club comments, book choices, and funniest threads. You can post screenshots, quotes, and other Book Club adventures on social media with the hashtag #fablereadingclub.We’ll share your experiences in regular Fable features!

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