Sutherland Shire Libraries run a number of book clubs across our libraries. We provide a space for you to meet at the library and find the books and resources you need for a lively and friendly group. We can also provide multiple copies of books to clubs run by community members with their friends.

Do you have your own book club?

Sutherland Shire Libraries are committed to supporting our community's love of reading and enjoyment of books through our Community Book Kits. Community run book clubs can borrow these kits, which include at least 10 copies of a title, a bag and laminated discussion questions to get you started. All you need to do is register your book club with us.

Register your book club

We host monthly book club meetings at several libraries for people who can't, or don't want to, commit to a regular group. Everyone is welcome to attend these open book groups. Just turn up ready to share your thoughts.

See below for details of upcoming meetings.

Sutherland Shire Libraries run a number of book clubs across our branches. We provide a space for you to meet at the library and find the books and resources needed to create a welcoming, vibrant discussion.

These groups meet once a month, from February to November. If you are interested in joining one of our book clubs, or would like more information, get in touch with our Librarian Reader Services (contact details at the bottom of page).

We encourage and support local book clubs. We can help you find the books and resources you need to make your book club a success. If you are interested in starting your own book club, this guide will help to get the ball rolling.


To start a book club, you’ll first need a core group of at least four members. These four can then invite one or two more people to join. You may find new members by asking amongst your network of friends, at work or through your connections at community groups or other organisations. You may also consider advertising on community noticeboards or via social media.

Small and cosy or the more the merrier?

A book club of 8 to 11 people is recommended. A group of this size will help to ensure that there are enough members in attendance at each meeting, while also allowing ample opportunity for everyone to participate in discussions.

How to get on the same page

Cardinal rule: everyone must read the book. Establish the book club’s purpose. What are the members’ expectations and reasons for joining? Will the book club have fun and informal chats, or aim for more structured discussions? Does the book club have a theme or are its members interested in exploring a variety of reading genres? Discuss the responsibilities of book club members. For example, will members take turns or will the group have a permanent leader to facilitate the meetings? Give everyone the chance to speak, and take time to listen to each other. Agree to disagree! Different people have different interpretations and viewpoints; it’s unlikely that everyone will love the same books. Sometimes the least-enjoyed books make for the best discussions. Address potential issues before they arise. For example, are guests permitted at meetings? Can new members join or do you need a waiting list?

Where and when

Where will the book club meet? You may choose to meet at a public place – like a café or local park – or at each other’s homes. Decide when to meet, for how long and how often. A monthly meeting will provide members the time to source and read the selected book prior to the next meeting. Consider whether refreshments will be provided and by whom. You may want to take turns to bring plates of food, tea and coffee, or everyone may wish to bring refreshments to each meeting.

So many books, so little time

Genre fiction and memoirs are popular choices for book clubs. It’s a good idea to select titles well in advance; some groups plan their reading lists months or even a year ahead. Whatever you decide, make sure that everyone knows what to read for the next meeting. Give consideration to:

  • What genres are/aren’t the group interested in.
  • Who chooses which books to read. Taking turns gets everyone involved and means a diverse range of titles are selected. Or you could write some suggested titles on pieces of paper, pop them in a bowl and select one at random.
  • How will you source your books? Will members buy copies or borrow them from the library? Remember to place reservations on library copies at least 3 weeks before they are needed in case they are already out on loan. Need help with reservations? Talk to a library staff member. Don’t forget that book titles may also be available in eBook and audiobook formats.
  • Keep records of the books the group has read, when discussed, and who suggested the title.

Book chat

Prepare lists of questions about the chosen books for members to consider and discuss at meetings. Lists can often be found on publishers’ websites or even in the back of some books. Or check NOVELIST – an online database available to Sutherland Shire Libraries’ members – for book discussion guides and other resources.

Remember, most importantly, to have fun!

If you are interested in joining a book club, would like to start your own, or need advice or suggestions about what to read next, your library is here to help. Just ask.

Upcoming open book club meetings

Want to learn how to join a book group?

Contact our Librarian Reader Services.