Readers Join Book Clubs to Create Friendships, Learn and Grow

Readers who participate in book clubs discover a different dimension of reflection and growth. Joining a book club exposes readers to authors and topics that he/she would not choose for themselves, according to Brooklyn College history professor Jason Reischel. Reading a book with a group allows time to discuss the thesis and themes, share opinions and thoughts.

32 percent of book club participants are involved in two or more book clubs, and feel that book club meetings are the highlight of their month. Close to 70 percent of in-person book clubs discuss 9-12 books per year, according to Book Browse LLC’s Bookclub whitepaper.

Books Clubs Can be Whatever You Want it to Be

Co-owner and Creative Director of Allegory Gallery Andrew Thornton started a book club called Inspired by Reading, where each participant is asked to create something inspired by the book discussed. “It can be anything. We’ve had all kinds of submissions —food, photography, art dolls, and even shoes!” The book club was started to motivate creative people and provide other sources of inspiration.

Communications Manager of Finder.com Jennifer McDermott started a book club four years ago, and the club chooses a venue that suits the books theme or setting. For example, the club recently read a book by Haruki Murakami, and met at a Japanese restaurant. McDermott’s book club also takes an annual vacation together, usually to a wine region.

Book Club Tips and Tricks

–  Put a date on the calendar at the end of each meeting, suggested by Reischel.
–  Create a calendar of all the books for the upcoming 6-12 months. This helps with time management for busy book club readers.
–  Designate a person to send reminders.
–  Borrow upcoming books from the library, suggested by McDermott.
–  Create a book club bookmark with all upcoming books and share with all participants, suggested by Thornton.
–  Create an online book club on GoRead.com.

Four out of ten in-person book clubs select books more than four months in advance. 80 percent of book clubs read local authors at least occasionally, according to Book Browse LLC’s Bookclub whitepaper. Author Carol Gee was a member of African American Women’s Book Club and said she participated in book discussions about her own book, which she described as an honor.

How to Choose a New Book

–  Rotate who chooses the book each meeting.
–  Gain feedback from readers to gauge what everyone is interested in, suggested by English Professor Bianca Ambrosio.
–  Pick books two months in advance to give the group more time to get the book and read it, suggested McDermott.
–  Vote on book choices, suggested Thornton.
–  Join a local or online book club or create one among your own friends.
–  Browse for new books at https://www.goread.com/browse/.

Encourage each other to read more, and discover new books that grab your attention and expand your knowledge.