There’s nothing quite like a book club to bring friends together for conversation, companionship, and time well spent with great works of literature. Of course, once you’re all in one place, there has to be more than just a spirited discussion of the required reading—after all, this isn’t school. Why not make a dinner party of your club’s next meeting? We’ve put together a few tips for hosting a dinner party for your book club—ways that you can get the most from your time spent together.

Serve a Meal That Everyone Can Enjoy

Literary sensibilities and finicky tastes seem to go hand in hand. Discriminating readers know what they like in literature, the arts, and the culinary world. When it comes to hosting a dinner party for your book club, stay away from main courses that won’t be crowd-pleasers. Following a discussion of Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera with fiery Colombian food may seem like a clever idea, but runs the risk of alienating some of your club members’ palates. Of course, twinning Italian cuisine and wines with the works of Elena Ferrante could easily be a smash hit, but when in doubt, stick to simple food. To spice it up, try making sangria with white wine.

Set the Tone With Decorations and More

One of our top tips for hosting a dinner party for your book club is to still get creative. Background music, centerpieces, tableware, and other ancillary aspects of your dinner party are wide-open for customization to suit the subject of your book. Are you finally giving The Great Gatsby its due, years after you blazed through it for high school summer reading? Play some of that Prohibition-era jazz. Is your book club solely devoted to the works of Jane Austen? Treat every dinner party with the elegance her prose deserves.

Keep the Chardonnay Flowing and the Floors Shard-Free

Book clubs for our kind of crowd have developed an unfair reputation as mere pretense for wine and chitchat with no literary aspirations at all. Some book clubs may work that way, but let’s give credit where it’s due. Of course, even the most high-minded book clubs eventually give way to refreshments. If you’re having guests over and don’t have the requisite glasses on hand to serve the full group, why not try elegant single-use drinkware instead? This is a stylish and economical alternative to true glassware, and it also makes life easier when one of your guests, animatedly describing a passage of a novel or just everyday life, drops her glass and lets it fall to the floor.

Start Planning the Next One

As your dinner party draws to a close and your guests head for the exit, make sure to have your next book in mind! Discuss options for your next book over dinner, come to a consensus, and start planning for another fun-filled occasion. Who knows? Maybe the perfect book/meal pairing is waiting after all.