How to Structure Your Book Club Dinner Meetings - A Sample Schedule

Women friends discussing book club book at restaurant table
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Many book clubs also share a meal when they meet. Wondering how to split the time between eating, socializing and discussing the book of the month? Here is an outline for an effective way to structure your book club meeting.

This schedule is planned for an hour and a half book club meeting but can be adjusted to fit a shorter or longer time frame

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 1.5 hours

Here's How

  1. Give people time to socialize while they arrive (15 minutes) - If you are hosting at home, set out some wine and cheese or offer your guests soft drinks and let them chat. This gives you time to finish cooking and your guests time to catch up on their lives. If you are at a restaurant, this can happen while people look over the menu.
  1. Spend more time getting to know each other over dinner (30 minutes) - Many book clubs struggle with actually talking about the book because social time is so appealing. Appease your group by letting the casual conversation happen while you eat. This will take some of the pressure off of you if you are serving the meal and help the rest of the group get focused before the book discussion begins.
  2. Discuss the book over dessert(45 minutes) - Check out these tips on leading an engaging conversation with your reading group. If you choose to have dessert, people can eat it during the discussion.


  1. Consider preparing a meal that is themed with the book you are reading.
  2. Check out The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp for recipe ideas from top book club picks.

What You Need

  • dinner
  • drinks
  • dessert
  • a book club
  • discussion questions