Developing Questions to Start a Discussion

Developing Questions to Start a Discussion

Outside of reading (which is almost always fun) and having a chance to get together with like-minded individuals, a book club is all about discussing what you are reading. For many groups, coming up with discussion prompts or questions can make the discussion go more smoothly. Unlike school, you most certainly do not have to stick to these points; however, they can make starting a lively conversation about your latest read easier.

Ideas for General Questions

The following questions can typically be used for just about any book, or modified to suit the title:

  1. What do you feel the main purpose of the story was?
  2. Did you enjoy the book? Where you impressed or disappointed? Why?
  3. How realistic where the characters, and did any of them appeal to you on a personal level?
  4. Would you have made the same decision(s) as the protagonist?
  5. Can you understand where the antagonist(s) was/were coming from?
  6. How do you feel about the ending?
  7. Would you recommend the book to other readers, friends or family members?

Specific Questions for Each Book

Hopefully, the book your group reads is so insightful / interesting / provocative that it warrants its own questions, rather than sticking to generic ones. Coming up with these questions, however, can be tricky. Checking out the author or publisher’s site for book club questions specific to the title you’re reading can be helpful: most include at least two or three, while others actually break questions down by chapter. Looking into the author may also lead somewhere, especially if the story was based off of his or her life.