The Inner Lives of Book Clubs: A Report on Who Joins Them and Why, What Makes Them Succeed, and How They Resolve Problems

The Inner Lives of Book Clubs: A Report on Who Joins Them and Why, What Makes Them Succeed, and How They Resolve Problems

by BookBrowse


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"Your research is impeccable, and your conclusions well supported. It is a treat to read because there is nothing else like it available. Since we run a book group program here at Darien Library supporting over 100 book groups and growing, it is of great interest to us what is happening nation-wide. Thank you for helping to keep us on top of trends."

—Patricia Sheary, Darien Library, CT

The Inner Lives of Book Clubs gets to the heart of what makes book clubs tick. It combines the findings from two surveys of 5,000 people with BookBrowse's 15 years of book club experience to bring you a data-driven guide to all things book club.

You should read this if:

  • You love your book club but wonder how it compares to other groups.
  • You've encountered issues and wish you knew how others have resolved these problems.
  • You're a librarian or bookseller who runs a book club, or advises patrons in book clubs on what to read.
  • You're a publisher or author wanting to understand book clubs.

Among much else, you'll discover:

  • What motivates people to join a book club, and what they love most.
  • The demographics of book clubs, both public and private groups.
  • The 12 most common book club challenges, and how to resolve them.
  • The relative importance of 13 elements book clubs consider when picking books.
  • The link between discussion length and happiness.
  • Different ways to pick books, and the relative benefits of each.
  • The role of facilitators.
  • What people interested in a book club but not in one want from a group.
  • Why people leave book clubs.

See also: Article in Publishers Weekly (

Also available to buy in PDF at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733619226
Publisher: BookBrowse
Publication date: 04/23/2019
Pages: 62
Sales rank: 1,233,366
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.17(d)

About the Author

For twenty years, through our website at and our newsletters, BookBrowse has provided reading recommendations to book clubs and readers in general, so we knew that the perception that many in the general public have of book clubs--primarily social groups not engaged in serious discussion--was not accurate. But, despite having researched book clubs for fifteen years, we realized we did not have the hard data to prove it because we had been focused on the mechanics of book clubs-where they meet, how many in a group and so on.

So, we set out to dig deep into the heart of the book club experience. In the process we conducted two surveys of more than 5,000 book club members, parsing over 100,000 responses. The result is The Inner Lives of Book Clubs--a data-driven guide to all things book club!

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The Inner Lives of Book Clubs is available in PDF at

Table of Contents


  • About This Report
  • Who Should Read This Report
  • Key Findings
  • About the SurveySURVEY RESULTS


  • Private & Public Book Clubs
  • When & Where Book Clubs Meet
  • Book Club Size & Attendance Rates
  • Membership Longevity
  • Ratio of Women & Men, and Age Range
  • What Book Clubs Read
  • How Books Are Selected
  • Meeting Duration & Discussion Length
  • Facilitators
  • Off-Limit Topics
  • Food and Drink


  • What People Want from a Book Club
  • Tell Us About Your Book Club

3. BOOK CLUB ISSUES (page 25)

  • Common Book Club Issues
  • How Book Clubs Respond to Issues
  • Responding to Specific Issues



APPENDICES (page 53)

  1. Demographics
  2. 2015 Report

Customer Reviews