How to Start a Virtual Book Club

June 23, 2022

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Laptop with virtual book club meeting on the screen

Today I’m sharing all of my tips for how to start a virtual book club. I’ve never been great at consistently going to an in-person book club. But amazingly, I’ve been in a virtual book club with mom and sisters for more than three years!

The women in my family live all over the country, and the book club has been such a fun way to stay connected.

As the years have gone by we’ve really learned how to streamline the whole thing, and I’m excited to share my ideas for how to get your own virtual book club started.

1. Send Out Invitations

The great thing about a book club is that you can start one with any group of people in your life: local friends, college friends, family members, co-workers, church friends, etc. No matter who you want to include, the first step in starting a virtual book club is to create an invite list and send out invitations.

I love using Canva to send out all kinds of invitations, and the book club invite is no exception! In fact, I created a book club invitation that you’re welcome use as you start your own virtual book club. Just download, customize in Canva (it’s a free website!), and then text or email the cute design to your friends or family. CLICK HERE to view and edit this design.

2. Create a Schedule

Once you’ve sent out the invites to your book club, it’s time to get everyone’s input and create a schedule that works well with everyone’s calendar. It usually works well to have a set day each month, such as the third Wednesday of the month. Then you’ll need to set a time (across several time zones!) that you will meet.

A different person in the group chooses the book each month, and that person is also in charge of leading the discussion. In our group, we started with the oldest person in the group and went down in age.

3. Send Out a Reminder

Life gets busy, so it’s smart to send out a reminder a few days before every book club meeting. We’ve been really flexible with our book club. Sometimes not everyone can make it or someone hasn’t read the book, and that’s okay! We still make it a priority to hop on the call for a few minutes and spend some time chatting, whenever we can.

We usually meet virtually, but it’s been fun to have a few in-person book clubs during holiday reunions!

My Book Club Recommendations

And in full transparency, I usually listen to the books on Audible. If you’ve found you don’t have much time to sit down and read a hard copy, I’d highly recommend audiobooks! I “read” so much more if I can listen and it’s been so fun. I also usually check the free Libby app to see if audiobooks are available to “check out” from there. All you need for the Libby app is a library card.

We’ve read a wide variety of books over the past three years. Sometimes, someone picks a book and then finds that it’s not what they expected. It happens to the best of us, yet it’s easy to feel some ownership over it if you choose a book that’s a flop.

Ultimately, I think your group will be understanding. But if you’re looking for some reading inspiration, here are some of my favorites:

The riveting memoir of a girl who grew up in a reclusive, survivalist family and never stepped foot in a classroom until she was 17. She was able to escape that life and earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
A modern classic that teaches so many life lessons through the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who searches the world for treasure.
A story of love, hope, hardship, loss and family all told through the perspective of the family dog. Sounds a little weird, but it was actually a really beautiful story.
An inspiring memoir written by the former first lady all about her upbringing and life lessons she learned along the way to the white house. Loved her take on hard work, positivity, and pivoting.
Incredibly written, raw novel that follows the story of a girl in the marshes of North Carolina who grows up essentially alone in nature. A suspenseful murder mystery that you won’t be able to put down.
A heart-wrenching and yet uplifting true story of a man in World War II who became the tattooist at a concentration camp. How love conquered all amid the brutality of war and the Holocaust.
The story of an eccentric artist who mysteriously disappears on a journey to find herself. Witty, funny, well-written and intriguing. Also turned into a fun movie with Kate Blanchett.
A hilariously fun read that combines the true story of Lady Jane from history and weaves in fantasy, humor, romance and adventure.
It was fun to read a classic for the first time! I enjoyed reading this story about an orphan and his journey, written by the talented Charles Dickens.
A CS Lewis classic that is a quick read full of parables and thought-provoking stories. This book changed the way I think about the afterlife and I contemplate ideas and quotes from it often.
The epic tale of 4 generations of a poor, immigrant Korean family – the sacrifices and mistakes and victories and trials they overcome. We created a family tree diagram to keep all the characters straight.
I’m a huge Malcolm Gladwell fan, and this book is an intriguing set of stories and ideas that forces you to examine your interactions with strangers – and how they often go so wrong.
The story of 2 women and their teenage daughters and how their lives intertwine in a complicated and riveting way. I liked the book more than the series.
A gripping novel that you won’t be able to put down! The suspenseful and mysterious story of a private, wealthy family and the woman who is finally sharing their story.
A quirky, laugh-out-loud funny story about Amy Byler, who is going through a mid-life crisis and embarks on a “momspringa”.
A lighthearted, fun read about a woman who falls and hits her head in a spin class and loses her memory of the last decade of her life. She struggles to find out why her marriage is in shambles and her life turned out so differently than she thought it would.
An epic story of two generations that chronicles life in the American west during the 1870s and the influence a pioneer grandmother had on her posterity nearly 100 years later.
The true story of a tiny town in Newfoundland that hosted over 6,000 airplane passengers after all planes were forced to land following the 9/11 attacks. A quick read that restores your faith in humanity.
A unique take on the stories of four adults in World War II – their romances, ability to survive, and at the heart of it all – Greek Gods who are determining their fates.
The story of two extraordinary women who are part of a traveling circus during World War II – both determined to survive, maintain their freedom, and fight for those they love.
The suspenseful story of twins who’s mother threw herself from the cliffs of their family estate when they were just babies. The journey of one twin to discover what really happened.
The unforgettable story of a girl who grows up in a rural village in Nigeria, with very little education and resources. Her journey through heartbreak and finding her voice through it all.
A practical approach to creating habits that will actually stick! Great stories and applications throughout that leave you with solid takeaways for creating and sticking to habits in your life.
A lighthearted read about 2 writers (both trying to finish novels), who find themselves living next door to each other as both friends and enemies. This one is fun but a little spicy!
A lovely spinoff of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, following the story of Mary Bennet. Sweet and beautifully written – a must-read for Jane Austen fans!
The memoir of a women who grew up as a Japanese American – how she forges her own identity, connects to her culture through food, and makes her own way in the world.
A historical fiction about a woman who disguised herself as a man in the ninth century and became the pope of the Catholic church. Truly riveting story that will keep you on your toes.
Twin sisters who grow up in a small, southern black community who go on to lead different lives in adulthood – one as a white woman and one as a black woman. Captivating storyline with complex characters.
An epic tale that follows the life of a family affected by the dust storms and Great Depression. Beautiful writing with a great storyline and development of characters.
The incredible true story of a Jewish family that was separated during WWII. Their determination to survive and variety of experiences is captivating and heart wrenching.

*Note: everyone has different levels of comfort in books with language, content, etc. I didn’t rate these books for that reason, but I recommend looking at reviews on GoodReads or Common Sense Media to decide if you want to read any given book or not.

Happy Reading with Your Virtual Book Club!

And that’s all there is to it! Our virtual book club has been so much fun, and it’s actually pretty easy to get one started. Follow these three steps, and you’ll be well on your way to an established virtual book club. Happy reading!

I like to hang out on Instagram and share more in-depth tutorials on everything I make, create, and organize.  Come be a part of our Home & Kind Instagram community.

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