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Book Club Bash: What to do when it’s your turn to host September 1, 2010

How can you jazz up your next book club gathering, you ask?

I have a few ideas for you.

Book Club!

To assist you with your overall book club planning adventure, the Ultimate Book Club Organizer will do the trick.  This trusty organizer will help you keep all of your book club information in one place and includes pages for reading notes, group members’ contact information, a book log, and a meeting calendar.  Fun extras include book-rating stickers, adhesive bookplates, a pocket for storing clippings and reviews, and bookmarks.  It’s a book club lover’s dream!

Ultimate Book Club Organizer

Once you and your group have planned the reading list and the hosting schedule for your club, it’s time for you to start planning your book club bash.  When hosting a book club gathering, it’s extremely important that all guests have a comfortable seat as well as a place to lay their refreshments.  If your home doesn’t offer ample seating on chairs and sofas, throwing some plump cushions onto the floor surrounding your coffee table will work as a temporary event solution.  If you don’t already have a few cushions available, Apartment Therapy provides a tutorial on how to create these floor cushions here.  Placing some extra blankets in the entertaining space during the winter months would also be welcome.

Floor Cushions

Delicious and enticing refreshments are the next most important hosting responsibility.  An afternoon tea theme would work well for this type of gathering.  Simple, cold sandwiches and wraps are always good options, as are veggies and dip, as they can be prepared in advance.  If you would like to get creative with these conventional snacks, use a cookie cutter to cut tea sandwiches into shapes, or simply display them on a beautiful cake pedestal or serving platter.   Snazz up some ordinary chopped veggies by creating single serving veggies and dips in small glasses.  Kraft Canada has some great ideas for quick and easy cold snacks here.

Tea Sandwiches

Veggies and Dip - with a twist

Playing on the themes and settings found in the book you’ll be discussing could also be a fun way to craft your menu.  If the book is set in a small, Southern town, for instance, then a homey Southern menu would be appropriate.  If a major theme or motif running throughout the book is water, then a cool blue hue would work on your refreshment table.  Get creative!  Cute colour-coordinated plates, napkins and serving ware can be picked up inexpensively at your local dollar store, Walmart or via online retailers such as A Perfect Party by Cody.

Decorate your refreshment table in the theme or colour scheme, and set stacks of books in various places on the table.  If you require food labels to identify some of the dishes, use bookmarks as the backdrops.  Simply paste a piece of white card or paper onto the bookmark with a handwritten title for the dish, or print sticker labels from your computer for a more polished look.

Unless you have a particular colour you would like to feature throughout the bash, mix and match your tea and coffee mugs for a fun and eclectic vibe.

Mix and Match

And, of course, your refreshment offerings must include desserts.  If you haven’t picked a theme or motif for your book club bash, treats that carry on the book motif itself would wow your guests and be fun to eat as well.  If you would like to go all out and have a cake made that resembles your book, contact a local specialty bakery or cake maker and see what they can do for you.  Toronto’s For the Love of Cake creates a wide range of novelty cakes, as well as custom orders.  You can view a book cake in their novelty cake gallery here.

Book Cupcakes by Iris and Olive's Cakes

Book Cookie by Decadent Cookie

As favours for your guests, handmade ribbon bookmarks are a lovely touch, and also serve as a creative way to use leftover ribbon and craft pieces.  You can find a great tutorial for creating ribbon bookmarks on Martha Stewart Living here.

Guest Favour

Or, you could opt to create custom book bags for each of your guests.  Again, Martha is the lady with the plan, and the details and templates are here.

Book Bag

Let me know how your book club bash goes!

Photos Courtesy of: WTHS Reading Corner, Apartment Therapy, How to Be Pretty, Kraft Canada, Iris and Olive’s Cakes , Decadent Cookie, Martha Stewart.

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