My first experiences with book clubs were back in elementary school. When I was in kindergarten or so, my mom would take my sister and I to Saturday morning book readings at our local library. Librarians would read a book aloud and have us do crafts that went along with the theme. When I got a little older, I joined the summer reading book club as well.
My first experience with a “grown-up” book club was my senior year of college. I was interning at the library in town and was welcomed into a monthly meeting with middle-aged (and older) women to discuss some randomly selected book. It was neat because I’d hear different perspectives than my own- as these ladies were older and had more life experience than I. I would come up with a list of discussion questions that we’d touch on amidst sipping coffee and cookies.
About a month ago, 3 friends and I were talking about how rare it is to see people our age reading anymore. Granted, the four of us are all college graduates and spend our waking hours working, eating, at the gym, or collapsed in front of NetFlix. But still, we thought, why shouldn’t we keep up some sort of community that has a beneficial purpose. And so, after enough talk, we did it.
We started our own book club. And why? Well, because we still like to read and learn. So if you need some motivation to get your peeps together, here’s a list 5 reasons you need to join or start a book club.
- Accountability | You know it’s true. Your friends will hold you accountable for reading a book each month- even if it’s something terrible. You’re getting through it together! At the least, it will make for a good literary rant session.
- Up Your IQ | Reading makes you smarter. It expands your mind. Talking about what you read gives you new insight to the story and writing. Maybe there’s something that didn’t make sense to you. Your book clubbers can help you figure it out!
- Improve Your Own Writing | That semester I was interning at the library, I was also taking my Novel Writing Workshop class. Reading various types of literature gave me inspiration for my own novel. Whether it’s a writing style you want to attempt or a new genre you’re trying- there really is no better way to nourish your writing than to read some.
- Boost Your Mood | After college, I found I could get depressed really easily. The main cause of this is lack of socializing and having intelligent conversations with peers. In school, you have classes (usually) every day and are always learning and be-friending people you have things in common with. There are parties to go to and your friends are usually down the hall or just across campus. Once you leave that atmosphere behind, life can get really dark. Having something to look forward to each month can give you purpose- even if it just seems as small as reading a book.
- Good Habits & Addiction | Once you start reading –I’m speaking to my writers and readers here who read this blog because they are already fans of books and stories– you’re going to want more and more. Maybe you’ll start reading 2 or 3 books at once. (I have friends who can switch between 5 or so). Funny example time: As I was reading this past month’s book club book, (Lolita by Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov), there were times that I had to put it down. But instead of watching T.V. or getting on the computer, I just grabbed another book I was working on. I still had that desire to read. It reminded me of school- when I’d toss my history book aside to read a play for theatre class.
If you’re interested, my book club’s next book is It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
I’ll be posting about it a bit as we go, so feel free to join in! Also, if you guys have more things to add to my book club list, (reasons why they’re a good idea or tips on being active in one), leave a comment.