50+ book club questions
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50+ Book Club Questions for a Fun & Lively Discussion

Asking great book club questions is the best way to have a fun & engaging night with your book loving friends. Check out this list of 50+ questions you can ask at your next meeting.

50+ Book Club Questions for a Fun & Lively Discussion

by Toni Woodruff

Featured photo for our list of 50+ Book Club Questions, featuring a question mark, wine glasses, and books

Asking good, open-ended questions is the key to unlocking the best book club meeting.

That, and wine! 

Summon laughter, good conversation, and juicy surprises in your book club by asking the right questions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a host or a member, coming to your meetings with something to talk about can elevate everyone’s night.

But every book club is different. 

Each person in your group is coming with their own experiences, knowledge, and juicy tidbits, so not all the questions work in every group. Some hosts may find that they only need one question to get everyone going, while others need 10+.  Both are great! As long as you all are out there enjoying the benefits of reading (and each other’s company), you’re doing a great job in my eyes.

Here’s my best advice for asking good book club questions as a host:

  • Read this entire list.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Yes or no questions can be fine sometimes, but you have to be confident that they’ll respond with “Yes, because,” or “No, because.”
  • Add the questions you like best into the notes app on your phone or computer.
  • Add more questions than you think you’ll need. You should have backups for when certain topics gain more traction than others. (i.e. be prepared with critical questions when people aren’t liking the book).
  • Bold the questions you like best. 
  • Think of specific members of your group. (i.e. if Aunt Sue only reads romance, but this is a historical thriller, choose a question based on the genre like twists and predicting the ending).
  • Let them talk! You want them having fun and interested in coming back. But also keep listening to clues for which questions on your list could be a follow-up to get things back on track.
  • Ask both different and similar questions every meeting.
  • Talk about the act of reading in addition to talking about the book specifically.
  • Personalize the language in the questions so that it matches your group’s vibe.
  • Ask broad AND specific questions. Keep the conversation changing!
  • Recommend that people underline or use post-its for potential talking points before your first meeting. Or you can just buy them for those interested!
  • Be flexible! Structure is great for book clubs, but everyone should be comfortable and fun is the #1 priority, so feel free to adjust and run in new unexpected directions. 

Another thing I invite my group members to do is experiment with different formats, like audiobooks and ebooks. Let them know about the Audible free trial and that nonfiction books can be the best intro to audiobooks. I’m definitely not the only one who enjoyed listening to Braiding Sweetgrass while doing the dishes. 

How can you get your book club talking? How can you get them laughing? 

Pick great books. Play games. Ask good questions. And remember the number one rule: What happens in book club stays in book club.

opening questions for book clubs
  1. Rate this book out of ten. (Everybody take a turn and say nothing else! Can also just do index cards to keep to yourself. See if it changes at the end.)

  1. What’s the first thing you have to talk about after finishing this book?

  1. What did you like about it?

  1. What did you dislike?

  1. How would you describe it in one sentence?

specific book club questions
  1. What is the best scene?

  1. Were there any specific sentences or passages that particularly affected you? 

  1. Read the first sentence aloud. Why do you think the author chose this as their first sentence? 

  1. Read the last sentence aloud. Why do you think they choose the last sentence? 

  1. Is there a small moment in the book that you feel could go under-appreciated?

  1. How did you feel about the ending?

  1. Did your opinion of this book change at a particular point? 

  1. What would you say happens to [x character] after the book ends?

Broad Questions
  1. Do you like the cover now that you’ve finished the book? Why or why not? Any alternate ideas for it?

  1. Do you think the title fits the book?

  1. Do you feel like this is more of a bestselling book or an award-winning book?

  1. Who is the best character?

  1. If this book could follow a different character, who would you want it to be?

  1. What would you say the most important point the author makes in this book?

  1. Would you call this book loud, quiet, or in the middle?

  1. For memoir & autobiography: Do you think the author was honest completely? Which parts are you not sure about?

  1. If you could ask the author one question, what would it be?

critical questions for book clubs
  1. Who is your least favorite character?

  1. Did any plot points feel too convenient? Like the author made the thing happen rather than it happening naturally?

  1. Were you disappointed in any specific scenes or people?

  1. Were there any parts or storylines you found boring?

  1. What did you think of the book’s length? Anything you would cut/add?

  1. Why do you think a publisher would choose to publish this book?

  1. If you were the editor, what feedback would you give?

personal questions
  1. Did you learn any factual information you didn’t know before?

  1. Who is a character you’d like to have lunch with? What would you talk about?

  1. Will you remember this book a year from now?

  1. Would you fall for any of the leads?

  1. Would you say the love connection is believable?

  1. Would you sleep with any of the characters?

  1. How did you feel about the sex scene(s)?

  1. What books/movies/shows did this remind you of?

  1. Would this make a better movie, tv show, or neither? Why?

  1. Would you want to live in the setting in this book? Which character(s) would you be? What would your job be?

  1. Who would you recommend this book to?

  1. Did any of your personal views change because of the book?

  1. Does anybody need a refill?

reading questions
  1. Where did you read this most often?

  1. When did you read this most often?

  1. What drink would go with the mood of this book?

  1. What song would go with the mood of this book? (Play it in the background while you’re chatting!)

  1. Did reading this book put you to sleep or keep you up?

  1. What emotions did it evoke in you?

  1. Did anybody try a new format (ebook, audiobook, hardcover)? How did it affect you?

  1. Did you Google anything while reading?

  1. Were you drawn to pick up the book, or did you finish it because there was a deadline?

  1. Did you look anything up about the author? What were you curious about? What did you learn?

  1. Do you use book marks, dog ear your pages, use the book flap, or remember what page you were on like some kind of memory superhero?

  1. Is anyone struggling to make time to read? Feeling like they’re not enjoying the process? Let them talk it out and ask others to give tips. 

closing questions
  1. Would you read any more books by this author?

  1. Would you recommend this book? Remember, this is different from “Do you like it?” Some people won’t recommend books because of content warnings, spice levels, etc.

  1. Did your rating change after this discussion?

What is the best question you’ve asked in your book club? Let me know in the comments! I’ll add my favorites. 🙌

Thank you for reading “50+ Book Club Questions for a Fun & Lively Discussion” by Toni Woodruff! If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.

1 comment on “50+ Book Club Questions for a Fun & Lively Discussion

  1. Pingback: 35 of the Best Book Club Books You'll Read This Year - Independent Book Review

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