I don’t think that the question of what is a book club stands as a question begging answer, anymore! Many book clubs have come into existence. Many movies, shows, and serials have featured the idea of a book club to further push the topic into the mainstream. Moreover, with the rise in options to connect and communicate without the need to be physically present close to each other have been added options of e-gathering and socialising via digital means. And, eventually, the idea of online and digital book clubs has also surfaced, been executed, and is successfully running. So, are you a member of any book club? Have you discussed your thoughts and opinions about a book or an author with your book club friends? Or, best, do you want to join a book club soon? In this article, you can call it an opinion too, I will share some of the most amazing benefits of joining a book club (that serious readers will enjoy). What are the benefits of joining a book club? Is joining an online book club a good idea? Will digital book club discussions help me become a better reader? Is reading a social activity? We will discuss all these aspects related to reading a book in this opinion article.
What is a book club?
In simple words, a book club is a physical or virtual space (place) where like-minded people, mostly serious readers, gather and discuss the books they read, set reading goals, and theme-based reading targets, talk about authors and literary stuff. Some book clubs also organise events and competitions for readers. A book club can be someone’s home, a library, a coffee house, an open field, or an online forum like some group or website.
Talking about its formation, anyone can form a book club. Any individual or organisation such as libraries, bookstores, and community groups can form a book club with open or private membership options. In most of the cases, the members of a book club typically choose a book to read, either by consensus or through a voting process. After they read the book over a period of time, usually one month, and come together to discuss their thoughts, opinions, and insights about the book.
What are the benefits of joining a book club?
There are many benefits to joining a book club. Here are some of them that you must consider:
- Exposure to new books
- Meeting like-minded readers
- Becoming better at reading books (by team motivation)
- Learning the ways to discuss a book
- Learning more about genres, authors, literary trends, etc
- At times, some book clubs also offer books, magazines and other stuff to members
In addition, you will learn a lot of things just by being there. Once you start reading seriously and discussing what you read, you become better and better with time. You learn how to discuss things about a book, authors and genres. You also learn to be patient with books that might not be racy right in the beginning. In short, you develop patience, argumentative skills, and a composed attitude.
What kind of discussions takes place at a Book Club meeting?
There cannot be any definite answer to that. However, in many cases, book club discussions can be structured or free-flowing, depending on the preferences of the members. Anyone can speak at any point in time or every member will speak one by one. Some clubs may have a moderator who guides the discussion, while others may have open-ended conversations. Some casual or funny book clubs may also include social activities such as potlucks, picnics, or outings related to the book being discussed. These activities, other than reading and discussions, might or might not be preferred by serious readers.
Should you join a book club?
OF COURSE! Though I am not making decisions on your behalf! If you are serious about reading goals and becoming a better reader, eventually, you must join a book club. You can join any offline or online book club depending on the time and effort you might want to invest in this direction. If you can manage to meet people physically and find socialising comfortable, you can join an offline book store. If you find managing time a little difficult, you can find some online book clubs and join them.
That’s all for the day folks! I will be back with more literary stuff very soon.
Manish for ReadbyCritics