Running a book club: Growing your club

Published on: 07 December 2023

An illustration of three upward arrows pointing in different directions

One common theme amongst colleagues who have run book clubs for a while is that for the first year or two they embed the club and create its identity. After a while, if it is working, children want to become part of the project, they start reading more themselves and making recommendations, and a reading culture is created. At this point the question is... where to take it next?

Try author visits

As an RT=RP school we have been privileged to meet authors and read to them through sharing events. This year, now my school has become an Independent RT=RP group, we are intending to club together with other schools and their book clubs to set up a sharing day for our pupils with an author, thus splitting the cost.

Pupil-author face-to-face contact is expensive but creates magical connections that are never forgotten. An alternative to this is a virtual school visit, like those run by BookTrust.

Children on a book club trip

Bring the book to life

It's also great to look for opportunities to bring the book alive and make it real. A couple of years ago my group were reading October, October by Katya Balen. One child wondered how easy it would be to adopt a barn owl.

The next thing we knew we were researching owl sanctuaries, setting up book sales and adopting an owl from the proceeds. The book became far more than a book, but then, as we know, so many books can, and book clubs are a great place to make this happen.

Good luck creating or enlivening yours!

Explore our Primary Schools hub

Head over to our Primary hub to find lots of tips and tricks about building a reading culture in your school community and encouraging families to get reading at home.

Take a look