Monday, May 4, 2020

Ten Activities I'd Have at My Bookish Party

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week we're imagining what would be involved in hosting a bookish party. I'm pretty sure this topic was conceived before in-person parties became a no-go activity, but thankfully several of these options could be adapted for virtual gatherings!

1. 20 Questions - Literary Characters
Each guest would get a Post-It on their back with the name of a well-known character from a book. They would have to ask other guests yes-or-no questions to try to figure out who they are. This could be adapted to a more traditional 20 Questions format where each person is given or comes up with a character and everyone else must ask yes-or-no questions to figure out who they are.

2. Book Discussion
My favorite bookish activity is discussing books with other people who've read them, which is why I've been in 2-4 book clubs at once. In my ideal world, I'd pick a book that everyone would read before coming to the party so we'd be able to discuss it!

3. Book Swap
This would be a chance for guests to bring up to three books that they want to part with, and take the same number of books from the pile of books shared by other guests. (I would have to make a rule that you'd have to take back any unclaimed books by the end of the night since I don't want to be responsible for them!)

4. Bring Your Own Book
This is a game that I hope to play at a future virtual game night, using the free prompts you can receive from signing up for their mailing list. Everyone has a book on hand and receives a prompt, like "a line from a horoscope," and everyone has to try to find something passable from their book. In the in-person game, you rotate books every few rounds.

5. Collaborative Storytelling
We typically play a game (that has many names) in which players alternate writing sentences and drawing them, only seeing what came immediately before. This is similar, except everyone writes the first sentence of a story and passes it to the next person, who writes the following sentence and then folds the paper so the next player can only see their contribution and not the original, and so on, until you have an entire story!

6. Ex Libris / The Paperback Game
This apparently goes by several names, but you can get the gist from either of the above links. Given the title, author, and back-cover description, everyone invents a first sentence for the book, which is mixed in with the real first sentence and all read aloud. You get points for fooling other people and for guessing the correct one!

7. Sorted Books
Also known as "spine poetry," this requires a large library of books to choose from, so it might even work better with everyone mining their own shelves at home than trying to share the same collection. Arrange the books so that the spines create a poem or tell a story. You could do it just for fun or have a vote on the best one.

8. Title Tweaks
This kind of game goes around Twitter every so often and makes an easy parlor game without any needed supplies. Pick a word and ask everyone to come up with a real book title and either insert the word or replace one of the existing words to make a new, hilarious title.

9. Trivia
Whether you use a formal structure like the Book Lover's Trivial Pursuit or just come up with your own trivia questions, this would be a chance for guests to show off their knowledge about all things literary.

10. Vacation Reads
If all else fails, here's a classic parlor game that could be adapted for a bookish party. The first person says, "I'm going on vacation and I'm bringing..." and names a book title starting with A. The next person must repeat exactly what they said and add a book title starting with B as well, and so on.

What activities would be at your party?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers
Five years ago I was reading: Angle of Repose, How to Train Your Dragon, and Finding Your Own North Star
Ten years ago I was reading: The Children's Book

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