How To

Best of Book Riot: 10 Ways to Kill Your Book Club

Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

To celebrate the end of the year, we’re running some of our favorite posts from the last six months. We’ll be back with all-new stuff on January 7th.



Oprah so helpfully taught us 14 ways not to kill a book club, so I thought I’d be of use and give you 10 ways to absolutely kill your book club (or never to be asked back again).

  1. Don’t show up. This is always a good one, and a fabulous way to really make sure book club crumbles. The more people who follow this rule the better.
  2. Show up very, very late. Just show up to basically grab some dinner that the host made for you and maybe a glass of wine to unwind from your day. Screw the book discussion, you didn’t really finish anyway.
  3. Referring to #2, don’t finish the book. Great way to not have to add to the discussion, which will then just become a conversation about your lives and eventually anyone who is actually interested in getting together to talk about books will drop out of the the “book” club. Good riddance.
  4. Again, referring to #2, drink… a lot. Always a good idea to get good and sauced when you’re at book club. Particularly so you can overshare when the discussion starts referencing things that have happened in your own life. Bonus: you get to drive home afterwards (if you aren’t hosting) which puts the added benefit of worry on your host and possibility of a sweet DUI on your record (which, if you’ve done this more than once, may mean you end up doing #1 involuntarily next time).
  • Never offer to host. If you’re lucky, this will eventually grate the nerves of the others, who are taking hosting turns, and they might eventually “forget” to add you to the next e-mail scheduling book club. You may not have killed book club for everyone, but you’ll never know it and will feel just as proud as if you had.
  • Put up a fight whenever a book is suggested that you’re not 100% sure you’ll love. Refuse to read it. Don’t budge. Seriously, if you let them make you read something out of your comfort zone you may as well have given them your soul. And, if you want to be a professional at this, never suggest any books – always say, “whatever you choose,” and poo-poo all suggestions until a book is picked that you deem readable.
  • Stay late. Keep talking and talking and never make a move for the door, even when others have cleaned up and left an hour ago.  The hostess is yawning? She probably just needs to be entertained with another story; go ahead, pour another glass of wine and settle in with that juicy, long one you’ve been dying to tell.
  • Be snotty. Know more than everyone else at the meeting, and make sure they know that the pick of the book was way beneath your pay grade. Perhaps if you’re snarky enough they’ll understand that you mean business about reading (and most importantly that you are smarter than everyone else).
  • Best added to #8, hate everything. Definitely don’t say what you like about a book. Make sure you only point out places where the author failed to deliver – and don’t let anyone get away with enjoying a book that isn’t material for a prestigious prize (and if the book that you lambasted does end up winning a prize you can always make a big deal, at a later meeting, about the award being rigged).
  • Read the book early and quickly so that you can use the excuse that you don’t remember any of the book when you are asked to contribute to the discussion. This will also let your fellow clubbers know that you are better than they are for being so on top of your reading, and (along with numbers 6, 8, and 9) will let them know how much better you are than everyone else in general. Bravo!