Our NVCL Drop-in Book Club is entering its fourth year, and I have to say, I think joining a book club is one of the best things you can do. Have you thought of joining one? Never thought of joining one?
Either way, here are five reasons you should:
- You will make time to read.
There is nothing like an impending book club meeting to force you to quit making excuses and make time to read. Sometimes, having that accountability is what you need to do the things you want to do, but can’t seem to find time for.
- You will read books you normally wouldn’t.
It is one of the things people love and hate about book clubs. You end up reading things you would normally never dream of reading. Sometimes this is awesome and exposes you to new, challenging material that you absolute love and feel so grateful for having been forced to read. Other times, you want to murder whoever suggested the selection because you hate it so much. Both are part of being in a book club. You will read fiction, nonfiction, short stories, graphic novels, and sometimes even young adult or kids’ books. Some of my favourite books have been ones I read for a book club that I NEVER would have picked up on my own. (For example: Just Kids, by Patti Smith and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman).
- You will meet people you normally wouldn’t.
Especially in a library book club, or one that is not organized by your friends. Very few people in the NVCL Book Club knew each other before coming to meetings. But now, friendships have been struck, connections have been made, book exchanges have occurred and local knowledge has been shared. You might not love everyone you meet, but you will make some friends and learn how to deal with those you don’t.
- You will feel more connected to your community.
As a result of number three, you will start to feel like you are more connected to your community. You will learn about events, restaurants, and resources in the community that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You will run into your new book club acquaintances around town. You may join other community groups, which will then increase all of these connections exponentially.
- You will have opportunities to learn new skills, like communication and facilitation.
You will have to learn how to communicate your ideas, feelings and opinions about the book effectively, as well as learn how to listen to others and respect their opinions. Even if this is something you already do, you can never practice effective communication enough. Additionally, you will have opportunities to facilitate conversations, which is a great skill to learn and hone. In the NVCL book club meetings, we always break into small groups of 5-7 people, and I ask one person to volunteer to facilitate the discussion. I notice that as time goes on, the folks who facilitate get better and better at it, and it seems to build their confidence.