is a series of posts focused on all things book club related: discussions, listicles, and how to’s.
It’s time for me to take the passion I have for participating in and organizing book clubs to the next level. Building Better Book Clubs is a new series of posts I’ll be publishing to explore book clubs. Why they matter, why you should be involved, how to get involved, what types of book clubs you could participate in, etc. etc. etc. I hope that these posts inspire you to take the next step. Get involved. Build a community. Expand your love for books.
I am an avid supporter of book clubs. I participate in 6 actively right now, and I am constantly searching for other avenues to discuss literature. That’s how I got into blogging– I had so many thoughts, I just needed to share them. Books clubs can be many things to many people. But at their core, I believe they provide community, a way to challenge ourselves, and a safe space to share opinions and to grow.
Book Clubs Provide Community
One of my favorite quotes is from C. S. Lewis:
We read to know we are not alone.
Book clubs are forms for many different groups, but all believe reading goals can be achieved by working together. You might be friends already, aligned through a belief, or just meeting at the library. But reading and discussing together increases the enjoyment and connection we have with the books we read. I find that the more time I spend with my bookish community, the more important they are in my life. People who were once acquaintances are now dear friends.
Book Clubs Challenge Us
When I read for a book club, I find that I read intentionally. Instead of experiencing the text as an observer, I look deeper. I read with purpose and intentionally search for sections of the book I plan to share and discuss. I am motivated to be a positive contributor and to challenge the perspectives of my peers. This makes me a more critical reader. I also find that I think critically about the opinions my peers share in book club. They challenge me to change my viewpoints and see the world in a different light.
Book Clubs Provide Safe Spaces
I trust my fellow book club members will listen, support, and even dissent my thoughts. But they will always participate. The community of book club is warm, welcoming, and willing to listen. Even if everyone disagrees with me, I never feel attacked or alienated. I always feel like I make a connection with someone else in my discussion. A good book club will ensure this is always true.
Book Clubs Help Us Grow
I already knew I was excited about reading. But some people come to book clubs for the social interaction. Being together, discussing our thoughts and opinions, often branches into other topics. We socialize, discuss current issues, we eat and talk about our lives. As we reflect on the books, we can find parallels in ourselves. I can’t begin to put into words how I’ve grown through these dialogues. I’ve discovered my inner feminist, the type-A-organizer, someone who wants to be included and is willing to go out of their way to include others. I have also learned to be vulnerable. That was a hard lesson to learn, but I never would’ve learned it without my book club.
What do you think?
- Does this series of posts interest you? If so, why? What do you want to learn?
- Do you currently participate in a book club? What do you like or dislike about book club?
- What do you think of book clubs?