YA Book Clubs: How to Spark Reading & Discussion

In anticipation of Teen Read Week (October 16-22), Bookselling This Week checked in with booksellers for some tips on attracting and keeping YA book club readers.

The secret to success for Bookbug, Kalamazoo, Mich., is "a great/popular book title, good outreach through schools, parents and promotion, and a fun night out with pizza and prizes," said Joanna Parzakonis.

At Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, Wis., the YA book club "meets monthly and has a core group of five regulars, along with drop-ins. Participants' ages range from 13 to 16, and there are no snacks or prizes," BTW wrote. "They just meet and talk,” said owner Lanora Hurley, who added that patience was a key factor. "It took us a long time to build our club. The first time we held it, only two people showed up. It takes time for them to get to know each other, but it isn't something that happens overnight, or in one or two meetings."

Maggie Tokuda-Hall, who runs Not Your Mother's Book Club (NYMBC) for Books Inc., which has a dozen Bay Area locations, said, "What has helped make it so successful is finding the books and authors that teens are truly passionate about." She also noted that social media keeps members involved: "We have a very active Twitter account, and are able to keep conversations going all the time."

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