A Guide for Beginner Bookclubers – find unusual book clubs to suit modern readers
August 26, 2015
Say book club and you get a mental picture of a bunch of suburban house wives sitting round, sipping pinot noir and gossiping over the latest top 10 novel but with Mark Zuckerberg a year of books club launching this year with over 466 205 followers on Facebook, book clubs have definitely been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Nowadays book clubs can be found on any subject and any conceivable form so there is no excuse not to get your read on.
With book clubs taking new forms, to appeal to modern young readers, you are bound to be able to find something to fit you unique taste but there are a whole range of reasons to try out these new wave of book clubs.
Read more: Everyone wants to find the time to fit a little more reading into their lives, a book club is the perfect way to stop making excuses and get some inspiration.
Read more a more diverse selection: Even if you read a lot it is easy to fall into the trap of sticking with the same authors and genres you feel safe in. When book choice is decided via committee you open yourself up to a wider range of stimulation.
Meet new people: Whether online or in person, it can be tricky as an adult to meet new people with similar interests. Book clubs centering on good food and wine are still popular.
Discuss your ideas: Some books just need to be discussed, a book club is a great place to explore different takes on your favorite books. A good book discussion can totally change the way you perceive a certain passage.
Expand your knowledge: If you are a writer a book club can expose you to different story telling techniques. If you’re into history a book club can widen your knowledge base and help you get the feel of a period. There are nonfiction clubs to gain certain skills. Even reading novels can expand your vocabulary and improve your spelling.
So your sold, you have been meaning to read more anyway but there seem to be so many options. Where do you start? How can you find a club you will actually enjoy? Well that’s easy, start with what you enjoy. Book clubs are often structured round a few basic elements. If you know where you stand with those, then you will know if the club is likely to be a good fit.
First, realistically how much do you read? If the answer to that is a page a week don’t despair. There are clubs especially for slow readers and others that focus on articles or blogs so you can ease your way into your new reading habit.
How much are you willing to spend? Some clubs buy new best sellers every month and expect you to contribute food and wine to meetings, others are based around books you can get free from your local library.
Is there a genre you want to stay within? Some clubs stay within a genre i.e. historical fiction, romance or fantasy, others focus on a specific interest like aliens, trains or travel writing. Other clubs choose books directly from best seller lists or only read books that have won awards, the options are endless.
Lastly, how much effort do you want to put in? Is meeting in person important to you? Or would you rather keep things online? Are you up for lengthy book discussions? Would you rather stick to light socializing or maybe you don’t want to talk about books at all, just get a little motivation and suggestions for books that might suit you?
Ok so you have an idea of what you want from a book club, now it’s time to find one that fits the bill. Below are several different styles of clubs that might work for you roughly in order of commitment.
There are numerous sites that act as local book club directories. If you favor the more traditional ‘meet and discuss over a cuppa’ style of club, simply type your city name into the directory to see the clubs in your local area.
Another style of book club without the social aspect are the ones run by sweep stake clubs where you sign up to a club and agree to purchase a certain amount of books a year in return for hefty discounts.
Library book clubs are great as you don’t have to purchase the books, however depending on how they are structured there may be a wait to borrow the book you are after. You could also use your library to borrow any books for your meet up style book club. You can order books online and simply pick them up when they come in. Check what your local library has in online by googling your local city.
There are two main types of online book clubs, those with their own web sites that are often centered around a celebrity or cause and online clubs that are based around a community for readers and writers like goodreads or shelfari where there are numerous groups and a whole range of ways to engage with other readers. These communities are great places to learn about new and interesting books but can lack the personal touch of a face to face book club.
If you want to scrap the face to face contact of book clubs altogether, social media now offers a whole range of clubs to suit every type of reader, from Facebook readers groups with all the rules of traditional book clubs, to twitter book clubs that suggest and summarize a book in 140 characters, there is something to get you inspired. Even things like Book Club App for android.
Don’t forget special interest clubs. There are clubs for kids, singles, e-books and slow readers, there are clubs for articles and blogs, clubs connected to schools, to work social clubs and special interest groups and societies.
No matter how you read there is a club of like-minded readers out there ready to support, suggest and discuss your latest book discoveries and with modern takes and social media book clubs on the rise, there is really no reason not to have your nose buried in a book.