Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

How to Start a Summer Book Club

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

...in which I share about our super fun summer friend group and invite your own group to dive into the book I wrote this spring!

Summer is my favorite. 

I know there are people who live for crunching leaves in the fall, those who can't wait to hit the ski hills every weekend in the winter and the gardeners among us who live for spring's planting season. But oh man, for me, summer is where it's at. 

I love short sleeves and sunshine, days spent at the pool or the beach and the long hours of daylight that somehow make you feel like anything is possible. Some of my best memories are summer memories, like the time I decided to work at a circus camp for 12 weeks or the year I drove cross country with six friends in a mini-van.

Last summer my family and I had just moved to Colorado a few months before. We were settling into life in our new home when all of sudden, summer appeared. And when summer started, everything else ended. My Mom's Group. My Bible Study. The Community Playgroup I'd joined. All of my regular activities went on hiatus. So I knew I needed something more. 

I decided to start a summer book club.

Here's how:

1) Ask some people.

For real. Just put yourself out there. It's as easy as sending some emails. I asked a random assortment of women I'd met in different places since we moved. Some already knew each other and some didn't. A few said no - but most said yes! Many of them have since told me how thankful they were that I was willing to go first so our little group could be born. 

2) Choose a time.

Figure out what works for everyone. Everyone I asked had young kids, so we decided to meet in the morning so our kids could play outside while we talked. If you're working, night-time probably works better. 

Some of my super fun summer book club friends - and a few of our teeny-tinies.

Some of my super fun summer book club friends - and a few of our teeny-tinies.

3) Find a spot to meet. 

We live in the dorms. Much as I love to play hostess, there's literally not room in our place for 10 other women and their kiddos. But that's okay! I still started the group, even without knowing where we'd all meet together. Before our first meeting, I send out a question about ideas on where to meet and a couple of the gals volunteered their homes. 

4) Pick a book.

There are so many great books out there. You could go fiction (The NightengaleWhere'd You Go, Bernadette? and Me Before You are some recent faves) or non-fiction (I always recommend The Geography of Bliss and Boys in the Boat is a great one).  Last summer we decided to go the get-to-know-you route and do a small group workbook on friendship by Stephanie May Wilson. It was fabulous.  

If you're interested in a more spiritual selection, there are so many great reads to choose from. But if I may - this is where I invite you to pick me!

Over the winter, I wrote a Bible study guide for small groups on the New Testament books of Philemon and Colossians, which are fascinating letters with ideas about identity, calling and living in community. This spring 60 women in our church piloted the study in small groups. And now, I'm thrilled to bring it to all of you!

The book is designed to be completed in 5 weeks, although those who prefer to move at a slower pace could easily do it in 10 instead. There are chapter introductions, daily homework, devotional reflections, and small group questions. In addition to the book, there are short talks for each chapter (soon to be available here) which you can stream or download for personal or small group use. And, just for fun, I've created adult coloring pages which you'll receive as a free download when you order.

If you're thinking about a summer book club - just do it! And if you're interested in using my new Bible Study guide, I'd love to send you one. They're available for individual purchase by using the link below, or contact me with larger orders, I offer discounts and free shipping for small groups! 

Happy Summer! Here's to good time with your people in the months to come.

Order Your Copy of Philemon & Colossians: In Christ Alone