It’s a new year! Why not try crossing something off your bucket list or start on your To Read pile by starting a book club?!
I am a consistent advocate for book clubs – they are great ways to engage with literature all the while getting out and being social. If you are interested in joining a book club, the below is a brief look at three different ways you can go about achieving this goal.
There are a number of ways you can find, join, or start a book. You can gather a group of your friends and hold a physical book club, you could join an established and public book club, or you can engage online in digital book clubs.
Option One: Start one yourself.
The main difficulty in starting a book club is finding members to join you. You may be lucky and have a few like minded friends who wish to also start a book club, or you may need to round them up, or even sweeten the deal with the promise of wine.
The hardest part of starting a book club is that first meeting. It is my suggestion that if you are starting one with friends, start small. Three or four friends is a respectable amount of people for a book club, there is no rule saying that you have to have a huge group – however if you do start with large numbers then that is great too!
My other suggestion for your very first meeting is to choose an easy and accessible book. You may want to start off with something like Pride and Prejudice, The Help, or even take a page out of the film The Book Club, and read Fifty Shades of Grey. By starting with an easy choice you can get the ball rolling early and easily and hopefully make it past that first book club meeting.
If you are able to pin down a few friends and start a book club – congratulations! You have done the near impossible.
Option Two: Join a book club
If you want to join a book club but don’t want all the hassle of starting one yourself, you can always join an exisiting book club.
Joining a book club is a great way to meet new people, expand your social circle, or engage with your community. It is also a really great way to meet new people if you have just moved to a new area because you are always free to come and go from the club with no pressure as you expand your new social circles.
If you are looking to join a pre-existing book club, I would recommend checking out your local public library. As a librarian at a pubic library, I know that each branch has a number of book clubs running through the library. Not to mention all of the private ones that utilise the library book club kits or space.
If you are unable to find a suitable library run book club, either because they don’t have any vacancies or they run at times not suited to you, check out your local community notice boards. You may get lucky and find a private club that is looking for new members.
Option Three: Engage with an online book club.
If you want to have a wholly digital book club experience, there are a number of ways you can engage with book clubs online.
Goodreads is home to a number of groups which are based around genres, book clubs, or reading challenges. Explore the site and see if you can find a group that grabs your attention – often you will find groups that post monthly polls for which books to read and forums where you can engage with each other.
Also really no matter what genre you enjoy reading, you will find a book club associated with it on Goodreads. You can join groups dedicated to Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, and even history books. On the Goodreads site, I would really recommend checking out Our Shared Shelf, which is a book club run by Emma Watson that looks at Feminist works of literature.
Celebrity book clubs are also ones you can engage in online – Oprah’s Book Club is on Goodreads, Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine runs Between Two Books, and NFL football player Andrew Luck reads two books a month in their book club the Andrew Luck Book Club.