20 Of The Best Book Discussion Questions To Get The Conversation Going

The best book discussion questions can really make or break a book club meeting. Knowing what you are going to ask ahead of time is key and an easy way to set up your next book club meeting for success.

Book Discussion Questions

Are you planning your next book club get together? After picking the most fantastic book, and setting up a fun event, the next most important thing is to plan a stimulating and interesting book discussion. 

For most people, book clubs are a simple excuse to get together with friends while holding each other accountable to reading more books. They can also be a great way to connect with old friends, meet new ones, and hang out with others who love books. The best part to me is the discussion though.

Being able to dissect each book, have some lively arguments and hear the impressions of others is really stimulating. Do they like the characters too? Was the plot twist a surprise to anyone else? Was the ending satisfactory to everyone?

Good book club discussions are like those awesome debates back in high school English class. Except you actually want to read the book. And you don’t have to worry about who you’re going to Homecoming with.

great book club discussion questions

The Best Book Discussion Questions To Get The Conversation Going

Coming up with the best book discussion questions is not as hard as you may think. It’s all about knowing where to look and knowing your book club personality.

If your friends are more interested in reading wine labels than the book you chose, don’t try to come up with some super intellectual questions. Keep it light!

However, if you are in a book club where everyone actually reads the book, you should have some thought-provoking questions ready. And I’m here to help, either way!

What are good discussion questions for a book?

Good book discussions questions are meant to draw out the more timid members of your group while also making the more assertive members stop and think. Starting with open ended book discussion questions, ones not tied to a specific book, can be very helpful.

20 of the best book discussion questions

One fun way to get everyone involved in answering the questions is to write each question on an index card. Then let each member of the book club choose a card and lead off the discussion of that particular question.
These open-ended options could include some of the following book discussion questions:

  1. What’s your overall impression about this book?
  2. What made the setting unique?
  3. What three words would you use to best describe this book.
  4. Share a favorite quote from the book. 
  5. If you wrote this book, what would you have changed?
  6. How does the main character change over the course of the book?
  7. How would the book be different if it was set in your town?
  8. If you could invite one character over to your house for dinner, who would it be?
  9. How did the characters change throughout the book?
  10. Did you notice any symbols in the book? Hidden meanings?
  11. What character was most like you?
  12. What other books did this remind you of?
  13. If you had to trade places with any character in the book, who would you choose?
  14. Who would you cast if you made this book into a movie?
  15. Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?
  16. Just for one day, you magically become part of this story. How would you do?
  17. What was your favorite moment in the book? Your least favorite?
  18. If you could ask the author one question about this book, what would you ask?
  19. If you could write one more chapter after the ending, how would you extend this story?
  20. Which character did you most relate to while reading this story?
Book Club Discussion Question Printable

Download Your Book Club Discussion Question Printable Here

For a printable version of these book club questions, click here. Be sure to print as many copies as you’d like. Or you can send them along to your attendees ahead of time! That way, they can have some time to play out their answers accordingly.

How do you write a discussion question for a book?

How do you write a discussion question for a book?

How do you write a discussion question for a book? That is THE question after all, isn’t it? Well, think about what aspects of the book you are burning to talking about. Which parts of the book are most engaging? These will be where you should focus on when coming up with book discussion questions.

You want your book club to be able to enjoy the book again, get a fuller development of the characters, and give your friends a way to speak their mind, and share their opinions, concerns, and emotions.

Why not have a discussion about the ways the book you selected changed each of you in the book club after reading it? You know your book club. What do you usually like to talk about? 

What makes a good book club discussion?

What makes a good book club discussion?

A good book club discussion flows freely. There is an ease about the conversation because even if people don’t have much in common, they all have (hopefully) read the same book.

Just because they have read the same book though doesn’t mean they all understood it in the same way. A good book club discussion is typically fun and light, and gives each member of the book club the opportunity to bring their thoughts and ideas to the group. 

Everyone should walk away feeling like they learned a little more about the book as well as the people in the book club.

One thing that is always fun to do is to include prompts in your discussion filled with book discussion questions. Basically, this means bringing props that are related to the book and help to stimulate the memory of those in the group. You can use a particular food, song, piece of clothing or anything else. Think about it as show and tell for adults. 

How do I start a book discussion group?

How do I start a book discussion group?

The best piece of advice for starting a book discussion group is to just go for it. You don’t have to have the “perfect” group of people. You don’t have to choose the “perfect” book. You don’t even have to have the “perfect” venue for the discussion.

Start with a small group of friends and go from there. Inviting people you like to hang around is a good first step. Don’t worry if everyone isn’t the same age or have the same background or lifestyle. It’s actually more interesting with a diverse group.

I tend to agree with keeping the group small. Having no more than ten people at a book club meeting keeps the setting intimate and gives everyone a chance to talk. 

What are the rules of a book club?

What are the rules of a book club?

Each book club has their own rules. Some are very strict and are to be adhered to religiously. Others are super loose and the group ends up being ultra laissez-faire. Either extreme is fine if it works for you. Not sure? Maybe shoot for a happy medium.

Having some rules, such as when the group will meet and what kind of books will be read, is important. However, being flexible enough to change things when needed is a good idea as well. Think about what kind of personality you want your book club to have, and what your friends would want.

The one rule every book club should have is that what is said in book club, stays in book club. You want to give people the opportunity to speak freely without worrying their opinions will be gossiped about. Oh and make sure that when everyone comes to the meeting – they are ready to answer all of the book discussion questions that are discussed!

Your Book Discussion Questions Matter

Bottom line: Your Book Discussion Questions Matter

Reading a good book can be as satisfying as viewing a masterpiece of art or hearing a classic symphony. Books can change lives.

Encourage your book club members to talk to each other about what inspired or enraged them when reading the book. Did they feel empowered? Could they relate to the characters in some way?

You might be surprised to hear how empowered, educated and/or entertained your friends are after reading a single book. 

book club discussion questions

Related:

About Vera Sweeney

Vera Sweeney – mom, blogger, and New York resident – is the founder of Lady and the Blog. Her main focus is to help busy women stay on top of the latest style, culinary, and parenting trends.

The Archives