Oxygen bars, pole dancing exercise classes, gold parties, trading Cabbage Patch or Garbage Pail Kid cards (okay, so that was me in 2nd grade and not women) no matter the motivation, women love to gather.
Women will continue to find creative ways to come together. In light of this, I have no doubt women will congregate, exuding a thirst and appreciation for reading long into the future.
Books are eternal. Yep, I said it. Always been around and always will be. And this means people will want to talk about them.
Hence (yes, I’m beginning the New Year with a hence...look out 2013) book clubs.
Book clubs won’t fizzle out anytime soon. Here’s why:
Stimulate my Synapses
I left a book club meeting last month feeling like my brain had just won a chess game against Bobby Fischer. The conversation stirred dozens of thoughts I’d never before entertained. One woman mentioned an observation regarding our novel of the month that immediately played off another woman’s point. Invisible ping pong of the best kind. Eternal Synapse-Shine for my Spotty Mind.
Hostess with the Mostess
I don’t enjoy cleaning. But I do enjoy making people feel welcome in my home. Book clubs give me an excuse to not only clean, but spiffify my house. I buy that candle. I plan that recipe. Then I rub my hands in anticipation of a conversation getting ready to brew.
Talk Me a River
Women love to process by talking through things. When we read a book it doesn’t seem enough sometimes to close the book and sigh. If the book has climbed inside us, we crave an enriching exchange about what we’ve experienced. Book clubs are ideal settings for this kind of book love. Nothing like reading one of your favorite lines aloud to witness another member lifting her book up to show you she’s underlined the exact same lines.
The Ultimate Connector
We are living stories. Every day. Every moment. This is why book clubs are so impactful. Our stories meld with the characters’. Our lives intertwine with the rising arcs, the zinging climactic scenes. We connect this way. And by meeting together to discuss how we’ve leapt inside the book (or how we wanted to run from it) we are uniquely bonding with others.
Not a Passing Craze
Age defying new makeup, baskets, stamps, cupcake parties, embossed stickers to label everything from lunch boxes to our children’s foreheads…there are countless opportunities to jump on a new bandwagon. But there’s one wagon that remains. Any thriving bookstore knows this. That’s why they have a table marked with a sign “Book Club Picks” and the like.
Where else would you get a woman who hasn’t applied a lick of makeup in twenty years sitting next to shellacked Shelly? When else would you get the atheist, the pastor, and the ‘not so sure about the whole organized religion thing’ woman yakking it up about a book that directly deals with faith? Book clubs invite unity even as diverse as they come.
Authors Keep Clubs in Mind
More and more authors are writing with gathered clubs in mind. They want to feed you. Feed you with questions, with solid characters, and with rich interactions. Because authors are acknowledging the value of these groups, they’re (we’re) learning to cater to your hopes.
Okay, I’ll admit it sometimes it’s nice just to admire a beautiful cheese spread while sipping a well-selected wine. A break. Time away from our demanding jobs as a parent or entrepreneur, book clubs give us this. For that we’ll be forever thankful.
Do you think book clubs are here to stay? Why or why not?
*If you want information on how to start up a book club in your area please shoot me an email (see right sidebar).
**photo by stock.XCHNG