Book clubs! They are a great way to get social with your reading, add a little more motivation if you're feeling slumpy or just catch up with friends (with wine of course!). Although the idea of a book club is very basic at its core: you read a book with a group of people and then talk about it. There are so many different ways and social functions that this structure can fit. Currently, I am part of 4 different book clubs (excessive, I know, but it keeps me reading for sure!) and I realize that each one serves a very distinct purpose in my reading/social life and that there are pros and cons for each one.
1. The Friend Group book club
This is your basic group of friends or friends of friends getting together to chat about a book. This usually happens monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly and may include comestibles and/or alcohol. I've been in a couple which have been organized around a particular theme (e.g. we would only read books by women of color) or just a general get together where people rotate choosing books they want to read, either way you get to spend time catching up with friends.
- Pros: The social atmosphere of getting together with friends on a fixed schedule with wine!
- Cons: Depending on the dedication of the group it can be difficult to keep the conversation centered around the book and lack of consistency can also lead to the dissolution of the group.
2. The Long Distance book club
I am very lucky to be part of a family that is full of book nerds. Every time we get together we talk about our favorite books and give each other recommendation. Unfortunately since we are scattered all over the world this does not happen as frequently as we would like. One way in which my mother and I keep in touch is by reading a book at the same time and then discussing it via Skype when we finish.
- Pros: Keeping in touch and sharing bookish time with a loved one/family/friend who lives far away. Beats sending a postcard!
- Cons: Generally works better with a smaller group of people unless you want to start a...
3. The Online book club
Online book clubs come in all forms of organizational platforms on a variety of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Litsy are some that I've seen just to name a few) They can be just for a private group of friends that are scattered geographically or open to for anyone to join.
- Pros: Finding a group of people interested in reading the same book or types of books as you who are interested in having conversations about said book.
- Cons: Not meeting in person (or this might be a pro too?)
4. The Work book club
This can be a great way to get to know your colleagues and network across departments in a more casual way or to talk about books at work (yay!).
- Pros: Bringing a little fun into your work life/potential workplace friendships
- Cons: Having to bite your tongue sometimes/watch your alcohol consumption, they are still colleagues after all and the last thing you want
Are you part of any book clubs? What do your book clubs look like?