Reinvent the Book Club: How To Host Your Own Audiobook Gathering

Book clubs can be great, but have you thought about taking them to another level with audiobooks? Wouldn't it be fun to hold a quaint gathering in your living room — seated 'round the fireplace with a refreshing cocktail, while a central speaker broadcasts a good story as if it were the 1930's? Read on and we'll show you how to hold such an event — Apartment Therapy Style.We've all heard of book clubs, and some of us may even be in a few. It's always a little challenging to keep everyone in sync, though — one person not as far along as the others, or perhaps another who read the book all the way-through in excitement. An audiobook club would solve all that. Everyone would all listen in together, and enjoy together. It'd be like a movie night with your friends, but more nostalgic and personal.

  1. Pick a Book
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    The first, and perhaps most critical, part of a book club is choosing the book. Check out our post on Best Narrated Audiobooks for some great recommendations — especially all the great input from our readers. Find something in a genre you all enjoy, or one that unifies common interests.

  2. Broadcast your Media
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    With the book chosen, and downloaded to your computer or mobile device, you'll now need to figure out a way for everyone to listen in. This could be as simple as plugging your media into an external speaker system via an auxiliary cable, or as seamless as streaming your media wirelessly to a portable speaker. You can even go for extra credit and tune in through some epoch-themed speakers found here.

  3. Organize and Schedule
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    Now gather up your list of recruits, those willing to take part in a 4-6 part event. Setup an eVite, and rotate between houses of the club members' homes for each meeting. Set a consistent schedule, complete with start and end times, so members have a day they can look forward to and an allotment of time they can committ to.

  4. Set the Spread
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    For food have light appetizers and drinks (pre-mixed in a carafe works best). Setup everything around your favorite listening spot. Don't feel like you have to confine yourself to the house, gathering outside around a firepit could add to the experience. Just make sure drinks and snacks are easily accessible for people to graze as necessary.

  5. Tune-in and Manage
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    Listen to a few chapters, for a total of about 1-1.5 hours, before stopping the audiobook for the day (take note of your stopping point). The listening part of the night may be over, but the party is just beginning. We like the idea of setting out a tempting, dessert after the book and perhaps even some coffee or apertifs.

  6. Have a conversation

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Over dessert talk about your favorite parts of the book, what shocked or surprised you, or perhaps even what you think will happen next. Great books make for great conversation. Then when the clock strikes midnight, or whatever time you set, everyone can go along their way — ready to do it again next time.

If you have the motivation, make the very last meeting for each book special. Hold a more formal dinner, and perhaps theme your menu around the book. This ends things on a good note, and whets your appetite for doing it all over again. We think this is a fun social gathering everyone can enjoy. Everything else has gone retro. Maybe it's time the forgotten pastime of listening to a story as social event makes a comeback too.

Images: Chris Perez

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