As much as I love the transition into Winter the long dark nights and rainy weekends can become pretty boring. After rewatching Gilmore Girls for the 100th time and rereading my favourites I am always looking for low cost activities to do with friends and family. Here are some brilliant bookish ideas to keep you entertained over the winter months.

1. Solve a Classic Murder Mystery

What do you need for this game? 1 or more copies of a classic murder mystery (digital copies on your mobile may be easiest)

Timeframe for this game? This could be an evening game played in person or a game played over a few weeks

No, I am not suggesting you make a game of solving a cold case. This activity is a really fun way of making a game of reading some brilliant classic murder mysteries. All you need to do is choose a classic, something like a Poirot or Miss Marple is perfect as it’s short and usually can be found either for very cheap in a charity or second hand shop or free online. The game is basically reading along with a partner, a friend or group of friends, and solving the crime before the end. You can either work together, mapping out where characters were when, each characters alibi and motive, or play against each other. Most classic mysteries will reveal in the last chapter who the killer is and why, so you can all place your bets and declare the campion detective.

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2. Competitive Short Story Writing

This is a really fun and creative activity you can do on a night in with friends or even just in the group chat. Using the same short story prompt write a short story each (you can make these as short or long as you like, set a word limit or leave it open), you can find plenty online but here are a few below:

A woman inherits a family heirloom haunted by a 1000 year old ghost.

A boy digs up a pyramid in his local park that defies everything he learnt in school.

An elderly woman sees her 20 year old self pass her on the street.

You could write together in an evening and read out your stories to each other, or send them to each other and vote on your favourite. This is a really fun exercise whether you’re an aspiring writer or just looking for an activity to pass the time.

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3. The Paperback Game

This game is another creative writing activity but a bit more quick-fire than writing a short story. In this game you’ll have a collection of books of different genres, you can pick these up at your local used bookshop or just from your shelves but try to choose books you either haven’t read or don’t know well.

Someone will write the real first sentence on a piece of paper and the others playing will write what they think the first line is based on the blurb without letting the others know what they have written. Laying our all of your first lines including the real one you can guess which was the real first line.

If you try out any of these ideas let us know in the comments or on our instagram/TikTok, also let us know if you have any other ideas of cool bookish games you use to pass the time!