Why You Should Join a Book Club

Why You Should Join a Book Club

Have you ever heard someone talking about their Book Club and it sparked intrigue and made you wonder why or if you should join a Book Club? Before I joined one, I wasn’t sure of the benefits, however, I quickly realized that I love being a part of a Book Club and I encourage you to join one too!

Why should a modern woman join a Book Club?

I have been an avid reader since I was a child. During the summers as a kid, I would sign up for the local public library’s reading lists and reading challenges. When the Harry Potter books were released, I was always in line at 12am to get a copy and would then start reading them overnight. However, as I got older and life started to become busier and busier, the number of books that I had time to read drastically decreased.

As an adult, participating in a Book Club got me reading again! Having monthly books and commitments kept me on track, I found new ways to enjoy books by participating in discussions about them afterwards, and I gained a new sense of community with my Book Club friends.

I clearly remember my first Book Club gathering. One of my friends had asked me to attend and I only knew a few familiar faces in the group.

I remember leaving Book Club and reflecting on my experience and LOVING it. I couldn’t wait until the next month’s Book Club! It was something that I looked forward to and cherished every month as my friendships with these ladies also continued to grow and deepen.

photo of Book Club
Photos by Mikkel Paige

I asked some of my Book Club friends, “What do you love about being a part of a Book Club?” and here are their responses.

photo of Alison Roane
Alison Roane

“I love having a dedicated monthly chat with friends about something we enjoy. Even if no one read the book that month, just getting dressed up and having a few drinks with friends is a treat!

We chose books as a group, so there was always a book I hadn’t read yet or heard of. It also kept me from only reading nonfiction or self-help books. “

Charity Van Horn

“Initially, Book Club drew me in for all that was familiar. It was a chance to stay connected with friends who had busy lives and jobs and Book Club provided a commitment, consistency, a reason to keep a date with these girls.

Yet over time, it was the differences that became Book Club’s greatest intrigue. From book selections I would not have read on my own to diverging life experiences and stories of our pasts. Few things have broadened and enriched my life more than the regular exposure to new titles and old friends.”

photo of Kristin Taber Wolfe
Kristin Taber Wolfe

“I’d always assumed that I wasn’t the Book Club type but Book Club has given me some of my closest friends.  While we discussed the books, most of our time was spent sharing our lives and chatting about superficial and monumental life events. 

I was exposed to ideas and viewpoints I never would have encountered otherwise.  And when my life came crashing down in an unexpected way, it was the women from my Book Clubs who were loyal and came and pursued me in my grief.  They opened up and shared their own experiences that gave me courage and helped me to take the next steps to rebuild a life I was proud of and could enjoy. 

So many very important things happen when you get to discuss other people’s stories.  You get a small window to step through and have the freedom to discuss your own story.  A lot has changed over the years for us all but one thing is consistent.  Every month we show up to keep reading, drinking, talking, and laughing.  Together.”  

It turns out that joining a Book Club further enriched our lives even beyond the books.

photo of Charity and Kristin at the mimosa bar

There are Huge Social Benefits

As adults, I will often hear people say that the older you get the harder it gets to meet people and to form new friendships. Book Club is a great way to meet people and it naturally creates intriguing conversations where you can bond and form new friendships.

Often the conversation would stray from the book itself and after Book Club concluded, I would talk to my friends as we walked out to our cars and eventually would text, call, or hang out with them on my own apart from Book Club gatherings.

There are Huge Intellectual Benefits

In addition to reading a book that you may not have chosen on your own, during the discussions of each book, you will hear all sorts of different perspectives and interpretations of the material. It broadens your horizons to different viewpoints and opinions that make you appreciate books that much more. Recreational reading can also be extremely rewarding and transformative!

Book Club group photo

There you have it! The reasons why you should join a Book Club are crystal clear. What are you waiting for? Book Clubs are about more than just the books. A supportive, fun community full of some deep friendships often forms!

photo of Book Club cocktail napkins
These adorable cocktail napkins pretty much sum it up! You can purchase them directly from the designer here.

Don’t know of a Book Club group that you can join? No worries! Here is How to Organize a Book Club. You can start small and just invite a few friends that you would like to participate and then the group will organically grow from there!

How To Organize a Book Club

How To Organize a Book Club

Do you want to start a Book Club? Great! But, what is the best way to organize a Book Club with people’s busy schedules? You will have to figure out the how, when, why, who, where, and what in order to organize your Book Club.


Initially our Book Club communicated via email however, we ended up creating a private Facebook group. Once you set up how to communicate with the group, you can determine when you will meet.

private facebook group photo
It would be really fun to get everyone together for a group shot for your Facebook group’s cover photo too!


We held our Book Club gatherings once a month on the second Monday of the month at 7pm.

I do not recommend holding your Book Club any more frequently than once a month. People need time to obtain the book and to read the book before your next meeting.

Determining a standing date is always best whenever possible however, holidays, summer vacations, work obligations, etc can often get in the way. If you find that the standing date does not work for the majority of the group in the upcoming month, it might be worth switching it up that month for better attendance. In our group, everyone was so busy during the month of December with the holidays, that we never read a book that month, we just met for a holiday social.

In the past, I have loved using Doodle polls to determine the best time to meet. However, it appears that Doodle is no longer free, so utilizing Facebook’s poll feature is a great alternative!

facebook poll photo


Why did you choose a particular book for the group to read? Our Book Club created a rule that the chosen book must have been read by someone in the group in advance who can vouch that the book is worthy. Eventually, we ended up determining that if it was your birthday month, you got to choose the book read in your month. If there were no birthdays that month, that’s when we would discuss as a group to decide on a book. It helped ensure that there was a variety in our book choices!

birthday calendar image
This also helps the birthday girl feel celebrated!


Who should be a part of your Book Club? I recommend keeping your Book Club group pretty intimate. If it gets too large, it will be harder to organize and you want everyone to be able to be a part of each discussion when you meet. I would try not to exceed 12-15 people. You can always start much smaller to have room for the group to grow organically.

In order to best distribute the work, we had two rotating hosts each month. The Book Host acts as the discussion moderator and develops questions for the group to keep the conversation going. The questions must be ambiguous enough that someone who did not read the book can still participate.

book club question card
A good tip for getting everyone involved is for the Book Host to create a question card for each person who will be in attendance and pass out them out randomly so that everyone takes turns reading their question and leading the discussion. (This photo and the following photos are by Mikkel Paige)


The second host, the House Host, hosts the Book Club at their home or chosen location. They are also responsible for providing food and beverages for the group. Want to decorate for your Book Club? Here are my 6 Book Club Decor Ideas.

photo of book club host and guests


What is a must have for Book Club gatherings? There must be booze or else it will be a snooze! I know, I’m hilarious.

photo of clinking champagne flutes
Cheers to that!

And most of all don’t forget, the point of having a Book Club is to have fun and to get to know the other ladies in your group! If the conversation diverts from that month’s book, that is totally ok!

6 Book Club Decor Ideas

6 Book Club Decor Ideas

When it was my turn to host my Book Club group, my apartment was too small to accommodate everyone so I held it at The Glass Box in Downtown Raleigh instead. The book was Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and I decided to go all out with the style and decor inspired by the contents of the book and the book cover. Coming up with decor ideas is not always easy so I wanted to share 6 Book Club decor ideas.

photo of Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

It was October, so I challenged myself to create an unconventional fall look out of shades of blue, white, and gold details.

photo of Mollyann decorating
My outfit even matched the theme! All photos by Mikkel Paige

Here are my 6 Book Club Decor Ideas

photo of tablescape
Linens + Flatware: CE Rental | Floral Design: Eclectic Sage

Decor Idea #1: Use spray-painted books.

photo of book decor

I went to a used Book Store and filled several boxes full of 10 cent books. When buying books, I looked for books that were various shades of blue as well as some that could be any color as I planned to spray those books gold. Mixing the blue books with the gold spray painted books throughout the room added some dimension and cohesiveness.

Decor Idea #2: Make personalized bookmark place card favors.

photo of bookmark place card

Who doesn’t like something personalized with their name on it? I painted blank white book marks with watercolor and wrote everyone’s names in a modern gold font on each bookmark. It was functional as everyone had their own place at the table and at the end of the evening, I encouraged everyone to take their bookmarks home as a favor. It certainly beats using receipts/other random pieces of paper as a bookmark!

Decor Idea #3: Set up a DIY Mimosa Bar.

photo of mimosa bar

Who says that food and bev doesn’t count as decor? A DIY serve yourself mimosa bar is always a good idea to have at a gathering with a bunch of ladies! Here I paired the champagne with pink lemonade, orange juice, and cranberry juice.

The confetti flag banner and the ice bucket are both from Target.

Decor Idea #4: Serve “Book Worms”.

photo of book worms

At the mimosa bar, gummy worms were served as “book worms”. The ladies could add a book worm to their mimosas, drape them over the edge of their champagne flutes for a fun look, or just snack on them.

Here you can also see a closeup of one of the white pumpkins. Pumpkins always make for wonderful fall decor. I took a gold paint pen and painted the stems of the pumpkins gold.

Decor Idea #5: Display the actual book.

photo of book and food display

I always bring a copy of each month’s Book Club book with me to Book Club gatherings for an Instagrammable photo op. Here I added the book itself to the food display. For some fun food options, I created a DIY charcuterie board, fruit skewers, and salads in a jar.

Decor Idea #6: Don’t forget dessert!

photo of cake and cupcakes

For dessert, I enlisted the expertise of Sugar Euphoria to create a cake wrapped in sugar paper adorned with pages from the book itself (I had to since Mindy Kaling loves cake so much!) and The Cupcake Shoppe made complimentary cupcakes sprinkled with gold glitter.

photo of Mollyann with floral arrangement

There you have it! My 6 Book Club Decor Ideas. For more photos and dreamy details, visit The Perfect Palette’s blog post, A Spectacular Book Club with Mimosas and Mindy Kaling.

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Permission to Try by Annie Franceschi

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Permission to Try by Annie Franceschi

Now, the easiest way to write a blog post about Permission to Try: 11 Things You Need to Hear When You’re Scared to Change Your Life by Annie Franceschi would be to list out those 11 things that you need to hear. Sorry, but that’s not going to happen – you need to discover those 11 things by reading the book and by doing the exercises yourself in order to really benefit and to make necessary changes.

First of all, are you constantly asking yourself“What’s my purpose?” • “What if I fail?” • “What will other people say?”

These are the doubts that keep you from making a career change, starting a business, or reinventing yourself! From the other side of fear, brand creator and speaker Annie Franceschi is here to give you the answers to the questions that keep you up at night: the powerful objections that keep you from changing your life for the better. Whether you’re facing a quarter-life crisis or just wondering if there’s more you’re meant for, this is the pep talk you’ve been needing! It’s time to find your purpose in this career advice book of hard-won personal stories, funny anecdotes, and helpful exercises on how to take risks, switch careers, and reinvent yourself. Discover the motivation to begin a new chapter with Annie’s best professional and life advice from quitting her Hollywood dream job, ditching Corporate America, and starting a passionate, profitable business on her own terms. Are you ready to have permission to change your life? Find out by diving into Permission to Try.

Meet our Brand Creator/Speaker/Author, Annie Franceschi!

It would be a dishonor to introduce Annie Franceschi in any other way than her three hard-earned entrepreneurial titles of brand creator, speaker, and author.

photo of Annie Franceschi holding Permission to Try
Annie Franceschi with her first published book! Photo by Faith Teasley Photography

With 10+ years in storytelling, Annie Franceschi is a bestselling author, speaker, and small business branding expert based in Durham, NC. In 2013, she quit a dream job at Walt Disney Studios to start her own agency, Greatest Story Creative®. Having branded more than 90 businesses, spoken for thousands, and released a #1 self-help book (Permission to Try), Annie is a passionate partner to entrepreneurs who want to unlock the value of their stories.

I first heard Annie speak years ago about her brilliant branding tactic of telling your story through your branding. When starting up this blog and designing my branding and logo, I kept Annie’s branding advice at the forefront of my mind and even wrote about her in my post, UNPACKING THE BACKPACK | INTENTIONAL LOGO DESIGN.

If hearing her speak all of those years ago was enough to inspire me now, I knew that her book was sure to give me the permission to try and to encourage me to continue on the path of changing my life.

photo of Permission to Try

5 Reasons Why You Should Read Permission to Try

Reason #1: The “one path” is bullshit.

You know the path that I’m talking about. The one where you take all of the steps in order to make it to your dream job or career. What happens when you get yourself pretty far down that path to only come to realize that it’s no longer serving you or to realize that it wasn’t meant for you after all?

When you stray off of the “one path” often your closest friends and family will freak out which only leads you to internally freaking out as well.

I think that many people find themselves on a particular career path then after living in that particular career day in and day out, they come to the realization that it is not for them after all. Even feeling this way, our parents’ generation tends to stay on that path whereas millenials have started changing paths or finding new paths.

“If you know in the back of your mind that things aren’t right, know that it’s normal for this to happen. It’s not something you have to be paralyzed in fear about; fear just keeps you going down the wrong road.”

Annie Franceschi

This book will help you create your own path just like Annie did.

Reason #2: Annie is the cheerleader that you never knew you needed.

What I love so much about Annie and her business, Greatest Story Creative, is that she helps others tell their story through intentional, cohesive branding . The belief in the importance of telling and sharing stories was one of the main factors of why I wanted to start a blog.

“If you have ever felt like your story doesn’t make sense, consider that you might be too close to the action. If I’ve discovered anything in writing and presenting more than 50 of these ‘Brand Voice Guides’ in the past five years, it’s this: Your story is powerful, and it’s going to make sense in the end. I promise.”

Annie Franceschi

It’s true, sometimes I think that you can be too close to your own story to be able to tell it in the best way. Have you ever struggled writing your bio or an “About Me” statement? Me too! This is where Annie comes in and helps you define and articulate your greatest story.

photo of the Permission to Try Book Launch
Even a cheerleader needs cheerleaders! Here are Annie’s cheerleaders at her Book Launch. Photo by Brubeck Photography

Reason #3: It will help you get unstuck.

Have you ever just felt stuck and not sure where to go or how to move forward with your career? Some of my favorite suggestions that she shares are to reflect way back to the things that you have been good at and enjoyed since childhood, to tell people about your dreams, and to take action and risk to move towards change.

When you tell people about your dream, a magical thing tends to happen. People begin to help you make that dream a reality.

Annie Franceschi

Once people offer connections or opportunities that will help, say yes and go for it! You never know what it will lead to.

Reason #4: It’s relatable.

Annie shares real stories of having to move back in with her dad, making the decision to pursue her own business venture full time, and even getting a dog that didn’t work out. She was not afraid of walking us through her failures and to show how she moved through them.

Personally, I enjoy Annie’s story because she dabbled with a small wedding business, created a blog, and ended up living back home – all things that are very familiar to me. I found myself able to relate to where she was coming from, and her stories and real life examples helped prompt my own thoughts about my personal situation so that I could easily apply them to the exercises.

She also shares situations that brought her to tears and made her feel afraid and worried. There is no sugar coating here!

“I was worried I wouldn’t make enough money and that I’d embarrass myself if I really tried this entrepreneurship thing for real.”

Annie Franceschi
photo of Annie holding Permission to Try
If Annie had let her worries or fear of embarrassment hold her back, we wouldn’t have this wonderful book today! Photo by Faith Teasley Photography

Reason #5: The exercises and resources are so helpful.

Recently I had dinner with a friend and she said that when she was ready to make a career change, she took an assessment online and it gave her a list of careers that would be a good fit for her interests, personality, and experiences and then she a got a job in one of the recommended fields.

Often assessments, exercises, and putting pen to paper are successful tools.

In addition to her 11 “Take Action Exercises”, a list of book titles that she referenced in her book and her online resource library, Annie includes her personal email address in Permission to Try as well. It’s truly amazing and reinforces the fact that she is genuinely happy to help!

This book is definitely staying on my shelf so that I can easily pick it up and read it again, work through some of the exercises, and reference her plethora of resources the next time that I am feeling stuck and craving change!

Try one of her exercises out for yourself! A free exercise from the book, “3 Steps for Finding a New Direction” is available at www.permissiontotry.com 

Back to Business Virtual Book Club logo

You’re Invited! Permission to Try Virtual Book Club hosted by the Back to Business Conference – Wednesday, July 8th from 12-1:15pm EST

Have you ever participated in a Book Club where the author was in attendance? Well now is your chance!

Join us for the best lunch break ever on Wednesday, July 8th at 12pm EST to discuss Permission to Try with Annie Franceschi herself. It is perfect for women who are returning to work, considering starting their own business, or have a big dream of any kind that hasn’t yet manifested.

Register for the Virtual Book Club for free and purchase your favorite way to enjoy the book – Paperback, Kindle, or Audible.

Stay in Touch with Annie!

Above all, I want to thank Annie for her encouragement and for her ability to articulate stories for those people and businesses who are unable to find the right words to express themselves. She has extraordinary talent!

Follow along with her on Instagram at @annie.franceschi and join us on July 8th to continue this conversation! I know that she will make an impact on you just like she made one on me all of those years ago.