30 June, 2018
When it comes to reading, one way or the other, we somehow end up finding like-minded people. There are so many instances when you visit someone and see a shelf full of books and you start beaming, and go “Oh, you read as well?”, and that starts off a different conversation and a relationship. Indeed, books and discussions on books, sharing reviews, exchanging books, etc. is a one of a kind unique experience. Like I said, book lovers somehow find each other, and that’s how slowly the bonding picks up, and before you know, you may well have a book club going.
What is a book club?
So, what is a book club? A book club is a club where people of similar reading habits get together and discuss books. There could be a theme, character, plot or a book of the month that is picked up for discussion. People can share their opinions, discuss, and have fun in general. Book clubs apart from spending some great times discussing books and stories, are also a great way of socialising.
There are academic book clubs, which concentrate entirely on discussing the meaning of the books, the character details etc. There are also lighter book clubs, which pick up stories and feelings only. The book genres could be fiction, romance, history, adventure, crime thrillers, as well as non-fiction self-help books or autobiographies, etc. or even stuff like cookery or other hobby books for discussion. The basis is a common interest among the members. One could choose to meet at the members’ house in turns or any public meeting point as well. In fact, if you are tech savvy, you could even start an online book club, where you people can log in and start discussions. Or it could also be a Facebook or WhatsApp group for that matter. But the fun of the book club may be more if people can meet in person, as it also provides a socialising angle as well. People can also exchange books as it happens in a lending library.
How to set it up?
The book club would need a set of likeminded people who love books and reading. You may be able to easily find this among your friends, neighbours, family, and in the same neighbourhood. Once the word spreads, you may see more people requesting to join in as well. In general, you may fix a one or two days in a month, like the Second Saturday of the month or so, as convenient to most members for a meeting. Depending on convenience and need, you may meet more often as well.
Each meeting may be planned for an hour or so to have a productive and exciting discussion, allowing all members to put their views across and discuss. A pre-meeting conversation or poll about which book(s) or theme to discuss can be done to make it better. To make it sound better, you could give yourselves a name, a little fancy if required. Some fun activities may be planned once in a while, like an outing etc.
When new members join in, you could play some games to welcome them as icebreaker activities. You could ask each member to invite new members who are interested and that are how you can grow the book club.
How to join in?
If you are not interested in setting it up but would love to be a part of a book club, then ask around in the neighbourhood, the local library, the apartment or community associations where you are staying etc. There is most likely a book club going around that someone would know about. You may then contact the person responsible and request to join. Usually, the entry is always through a known contact as most book clubs are localised, unless they are online.
So, whether you want to start one, or join one, do not hesitate, as book clubs are a great way of passing the time indulgently, keeping an engaging way hobby alive, as also for socialising and making friends.
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