Book Clubs: Yea or Nay?

So I’ve been wondering about this for a while: are book clubs really worth it?

I was sort of part of one as was required by a class I took in college (and even then I barely participated), and it was definitely interesting and everything, but I just felt that if I were to participate in one outside of a required club that it would be very difficult to keep up with.

So, here are some of my personal thoughts – the pros and cons – about book clubs:

Pros

  • You get to read a common book with multiple people. Now whether this book is something you’d desire to read or not is another question entirely, but you get to talk about books with people! As a book person, that’s always exciting because then you can get ALL YOUR FEELS out.
  • You can have fun/grueling discussions. Now some people might not care for this, but I find that having discussions about a book can really open someone’s eyes to certain conflicts or areas of interest that might otherwise have not been thought of before. I love that everyone has their own opinion and it’s okay to share whatever you want with the group.
  • Snacks. Because, duh.
  • Friends! Maybe your small group of four friends wants to make a book club and then they each invite one or two of their friends, and then you just have this big ol’ group talking about books for an hour or two. I’d say that’s a win-win.
  • You get one more book for your shelf. I don’t know about you, but I love having my book collection, so adding one more to my shelf makes me happy.

Cons

  • Time restraints. A lot of people, depending on your age, have day jobs that they have to attend and then have very little energy or desire to do anything after working all day, so finding the time to get a large group of people together can be quite the challenge.
  • Conflicting opinions. Now, there’s nothing wrong with someone liking/disliking a book, but when it becomes heated then there’s definitely a problem. Some people can become passionate about their opinions one way or another and so this can prove difficult and awkward for many of the people around.
  • Reading a book you have no interest in. Even if the whole group votes for the same book, once you start it and you can’t get into it, but everyone else does, you then feel like you have to force yourself to read this horrible piece of work.
  • Coming up with questions. When it’s your turn to ask the questions, you might be thinking to yourself, “Are my questions going to make sense? Will anyone answer? Wasn’t this question already asked before?” It can be difficult to come up with unique questions depending on the plot of the book, especially if a scene or chapter is slow or not progressive.
  • Commitment issues. Okay, so this might be a “me” problem, but I do have commitment issues with some things and I feel like this could be one of them. People have lives outside of the club and so it’s understand if they miss a few chapters here and there, but if it’s consistent then you really have to consider whether or not you should keep it going.

Okay, so, these seem kind of silly, but they’re also pretty valid. I’ve been thinking about starting a book club, either with friends in my personal life or people on the internet, but I’m not sure how well it’d go down.

Book clubs: fun, engaging, kind of like a mini-party for book peeps, but they can also be time consuming, difficult to plan, and hard to stick with.

So, what are your thoughts? Yea or nay? Let me know down below your opinions on book clubs and if you’d be willing to start one near you.

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5 thoughts on “Book Clubs: Yea or Nay?

  1. I do like the idea of a book club, but you make good negative points too!! I think a book club you could dip in and out of would be good. So, if you like the book and have the time you can join in, then maybe skip out the following month. Let me know if you start one up.
    Amanda.

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  2. I recommend trying out some existing book clubs in your area before committing to starting up your own. This way you’ll learn about different themes/formats/styles and you can narrow down what yours will be like. I just joined a couple of book clubs and there is no reason that you should feel compelled to read a book you don’t want to read. I searched around meetup.com for local book clubs and found a ton. Most list the books they’ll be reading for the next month or more so you can choose to try them out based on your book interests or anything else. The one I found is a books & brunch club, so all book club meetings are had over delicious brunch and they also have meetings once a month just to hang out without having to discuss a book. I also recommend looking to see if your local public library has a book club, this is also a great way to look at the book list and see if its for you. They usually have several book clubs based on genres (mystery, YA, etc.). Finally, there are a ton of book clubs hosted by Booktubers on Goodreads or elsewhere. This is also a more relaxed way to join a book club without feeling obligated to read every book.

    Remember, the important thing is to have fun and find something that fuels your passion for reading, not something that stifles it. Good luck!

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  3. Pingback: August 2015 Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winner | Reader Rayna

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