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Have you considered a family book club this summer? Even if it’s hard to get your crew motivated, don’t give up. No matter how much they balk, you’ll have a good time discussing the book (and anything else that comes up!)

It’s a great way to spend device-free time together. You don’t have to choose a serious or literary book. (It can even be one of their required reading selections.) Family book clubs have no rules, except read something and have fun. 

Here are a few tips:

  1. Any family member can nominate a book.
  2. The whole family votes on which books to read.
  3. Be realistic regarding the number of books you’ll get through and the length of each. 
  4. Make discussions special. Combine it with something else your family enjoys. Go to a restaurant. Have a picnic. Dress in character.
  5. Mixing reading levels is fine as long as the youngest can listen to audio versions of advanced level books, or an older person reads to a younger. Young readers love when older family members read their picks. Older siblings get a kick out of feeling nostalgic rereading kiddie books.
  6. Naughty words and/or scenes are hits.
  7. Take turns leading the discussions. Be flexible, but prepare questions in case there’s a conversation lull. Many books come with discussion guides.
  8. Be open to unconventional genres and reading tools (like audiobooks or e-books).
  9. Don’t cancel, even if everyone hasn’t finished the book.
  10. KEEP IT FUN!

Award-winning author Renee Garrison has written two books on her life with midshipmen at the Sanford Naval Academy, The Anchor Clankers and Anchored Together.