Reading parties are a great way to get together with friends, enjoy snacks, and talk about your favorite books. You may have seen one on social media. Here’s how to throw one of your own:

Find a space that works

In order to make sure your party goes smoothly, you’ll need to find a space that’s just right. You should first consider whether the space will be comfortable and have plenty of seating. It’s also important that the group can hear each other clearly while they’re reading quietly, so it’s best not to choose a location with loud noises or many distractions. Finally, it’s crucial that there is enough light in your chosen space so everyone can easily see their books and notes.

Choose the book

You’re throwing a reading party and want to ensure that your guests have the best time possible. How do you do that?

The first step is choosing the book. If your guests are at your house for a few hours, make sure it’s something they enjoy and will get them talking and sharing their opinions. A good rule of thumb is to choose something that can be discussed for at least half an hour before moving on to something else.

Once you’ve chosen your book, consider the location of your party—will it be inside or outside? If it’s indoors, try to find an area where people can spread out comfortably; if it’s outdoors, consider bringing chairs or blankets so everyone can sit comfortably while they read. And don’t forget snacks!

Keep snacks simple

You want to ensure your guests are comfortable and focused on the food. This means avoiding complex or messy recipes, which can be difficult for guests who are trying to focus on the book. Also, if you’re hosting a group of people who don’t know each other very well (or at all), it’s best to keep the gathering light and social—food can be a great way to do that!

Set the mood with decor (but don’t go overboard)

Your party room should be comfortable and inviting, not a stuffy library or a dirty dorm room. Use your home’s natural light to create a nice mood, if possible. Make sure the room is big enough for everyone to sit comfortably without being cramped. If you’re hosting an intimate reading party—for just family or friends—a smaller space will work just fine; if you are hosting a larger event, however, consider renting out an event space like a local art gallery or coffee shop that has plenty of seating options available in one place. 

Get the drinks right

You should also make sure that you have drinks available for your guests. A good rule of thumb is to choose one alcoholic drink and one non-alcoholic drink. Alcoholic drinks are a fun addition to any party, but you will want to be careful not to overdo it with alcohol. If you serve any type of liquor or beer, make sure there is a responsible adult present at all times in case anyone needs help getting home safely.

Think about what to wear

Consider what you’ll wear to the party. You should wear something comfortable that makes you feel good about yourself, like a t-shirt and jeans. Or maybe, you love maxi dresses. You want to be able to focus on your guests and not feel uncomfortable because of what you’re wearing. In addition, consider your attire from a “reading” perspective: Will it make you feel like reading? If so, then, by all means, don’t hesitate to go for it!

Plan on spending some time talking about the book…

The best way to keep the conversation going is to have a wide variety of opinions. Ask each person individually what they thought of the book, and then ask them why. If you have people who loved it, try asking them what they loved most about it (this will help you get other people talking). If there are others who didn’t particularly care for it, ask them what they didn’t like about it (this will help you find common ground with those who did).

…but plan on doing some other activities, too.

Not everyone will want to read while at your party, and some might find the book they bring boring. So alternative activities could help those who aren’t interested in their books anymore. Table games like Scrabble, Boggle, and Monopoly are great ways to pass the time when you’re not reading. Alternatively, you can have activities that are based on the books that everyone is reading.

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