Virtual Book Club

Here is our guide to virtual book club.

We put this guide together after running monthly virtual book clubs with our own team – as well as facilitating connection-building, discussion-inspiring virtual activities for thousands of teams.

A virtual book club is an interactive online activity where team members discuss a book in a virtual setting. By engaging in thoughtful conversations about literature, team members broaden their intellectual horizons and foster deeper connections with each other, enhancing camaraderie and teamwork. This activity encourages active listening, critical thinking, and empathy. These skills are essential for effective collaboration within a team, making book clubs an enriching and impactful experience for remote teams striving to strengthen their bond.

Ideal group size: 

6 to 12 participants

This size allows each individual to share their opinions during club discussions.

Activity duration:

60 to 90 minutes

This timeframe allows for engaging discussions while ensuring participants remain focused.


Free – $20

The only cost of running a virtual book club is buying books to read. However, members can find books for free through the library.

What you’ll need:

  • Video conferencing platform (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet)
  • Copies of the chosen book or access to online libraries
  • Note-taking tools (e.g., Google Docs, Microsoft Word) for jotting down thoughts and discussion points
  • Virtual whiteboard software for brainstorming and organizing thoughts collaboratively

How to do it:

Step 1: Choose a Book

First, select a book that appeals to the interests and preferences of your team members. Consider diverse genres and themes to accommodate varying tastes.

Step 2: Schedule the Session

Next, set a date and time for the virtual book club session that works for all team members. Be sure to give participants enough time to read the book beforehand.

Step 3: Distribute Reading Materials

Before the meeting, give out digital copies of the chosen book or direct team members to where they can access it online. Then, have folks read the book before the scheduled session.

Step 4: Set Up Video Conference

After reading, create a meeting link on your preferred video conferencing platform and share it with all participants. Team members should test their audio and video settings beforehand.

Step 5: Start the Discussion

To begin the virtual book club session, introduce the book and its author. Participants can share their thoughts, favorite passages, and reactions to the book.

Step 6: Facilitate Discussion

You can guide the conversation to ensure each individual has an opportunity to participate. Open-ended questions will stimulate discussion and delve deeper into the book’s themes and characters.

Step 7: Encourage Active Listening

Participants should actively listen to each other’s viewpoints and opinions. Folks can build upon each other’s ideas and engage in respectful dialogue.

Step 8: Summarize Key Points

As the discussion nears its end, summarize the key points and themes teams discussed. In addition, encourage participants to reflect on what they have learned and how it relates to their personal and professional lives.

Examples of games or activities:

1. Character Role Play

  1. Each participant selects a character from the book and acts like that character during the discussion.
  2. Throughout the session, participants speak from the perspective of their chosen character, sharing insights and opinions as if they were the characters themselves.
  3. Participants stay in character as much as possible, engaging in lively dialogue and debates with other characters.

2. Literary Trivia Challenge

  1. Prepare trivia questions about the book, its author, characters, and themes.
  2. Divide participants into teams and present the trivia questions one by one.
  3. Teams compete to answer the questions correctly within a specified time limit, earning points for each correct answer.
  4. The team with the most points at the end wins the trivia challenge.

3. Book Cover Redesign

  1. Ask participants to redesign the book cover based on their interpretation of its themes and content.
  2. Provide time for participants to create their designs using digital drawing tools or physical art supplies.
  3. Each participant presents their redesigned cover to the group, explaining their artistic choices.
  4. Encourage discussion and feedback on each design, exploring different interpretations and perspectives.

4. Literary Debate

  1. Select a controversial or thought-provoking topic related to the book and its themes.
  2. Divide participants into teams, with each team assigned a stance on the topic.
  3. Teams prepare arguments to support their assigned stance, gathering evidence from the book and other sources.
  4. Conduct a structured debate, with each team presenting their arguments and rebuttals.
  5. Encourage respectful discourse and critical thinking as teams engage in the debate.


  1. Foster Inclusivity: Choose books catering to your team’s diverse interests and backgrounds to ensure each individual feels engaged and represented.
  2. Set Clear Expectations: Communicate the reading timeline and discussion format in advance to help participants prepare and contribute.
  3. Encourage Participation: Create a supportive environment where all team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and insights, even if they have not finished the book.
  4. Embrace Technology: Use features like breakout rooms or virtual whiteboards to facilitate interactive discussions and collaborative activities during the session.
  5. Respect Different Perspectives: Encourage respectful dialogue and open-mindedness, acknowledging that interpretations of the book may vary among participants.
  6. Engage Team Members: Incorporate fun icebreakers or discussion prompts to break the ice and maintain energy throughout the session.
  7. Follow Up: Encourage ongoing discussion and reflection by creating a space for participants to share additional thoughts, questions, or book recommendations after the session.
  8. Offer a Snack: To encourage participation in the club, you can reimburse members for a small snack, coffee, or lunch to enjoy during the meeting. $15 to $25 is reasonable.
  9. Curate Shorter Reads: If members struggle to commit to reading novels, consider instead shorter works like essays or novellas.

Final Thoughts

Hosting a virtual book club with your team can be a powerful tool for fostering connection, empathy, and intellectual growth, even in a remote setting. By carefully selecting diverse books, facilitating inclusive discussions, and embracing technology, you can create meaningful experiences that strengthen bonds and inspire collaboration.

Want more ideas? Check out our post on virtual icebreaker questions.

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