Wednesday, January 2, 2013

8 Reasons Book Clubs Are Here to Stay



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.

Diversity Factor
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.

Social Hour
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

17 comments:

  1. Loved this! It solidifies my desire to find a book club next fall when my nest is empty! It's one of those things I've wanted to do for a long time but couldn't cram anything else into my schedule. With no more ball games to attend I'll have some time opening up! :)

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    1. Oh Anne, I hope you get to! You'd be a wonderful addition to any book club. So cool how much you liked Les Mis too. Fun to read your post today!

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  2. As long as women love to read, there shall be book clubs! I love ours. We meet once a month at our cafe at the church and we gab for hours. We start out talking about the chosen book, but it always leads to other books...and movies...and...and...and! :) I treasure that night every month. Super fun!

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    1. Love that you are partaking in robust conversation in yours. And I'm doing all I can to keep women reading. ;-)

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  3. I'm not in a book club, but I always want to be whenever Jessica Patch talks about her book club on her blog. :) I do think they're here to stay...what better to get together to talk about than stories? :)

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    1. Even a book that isn't an all around hit can churn up some good conversation. I've witnessed this. And yes, stories lend themselves to being discussed.

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  4. Love all of your reasons and I totally agree! I always love discussing books and literature with others...I'm totally into analyzing. :) I would love to find a good book club, but I'm so busy right now. Maybe someday...

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    1. I enjoy climbing inside the author's head, the heads of all the characters, heck I enjoy jumping in just about anyone's head.

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  5. I love to share thoughts on a book that I'm reading, or have read. I love when someone else sees something I didn't catch. I go back and reread it. Happy New Year, Wendy!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, Loree! Yep, that's gold, pure gold when someone introduces me to an idea sprung from the same book I've read and I've missed it.

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  6. Book clubs are forever. Mine has been going strong for over 12 years. I've been part of it for 6.

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    1. No idea why, but your comment got kicked into spam. Sent it back here where it belongs. And how encouraging that your group has cemented like that! Kudos!

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  7. Wendy: A book club sounds interesting. When I worked in a library, it had a book club that met once a month. I have a few qualms about starting anything like what you describe. Part of my fear is the cost of the books. I am a senior citizen and have to watch my pennies as much as I can.

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    1. Happy New Year to you and yours.

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    2. Happy New Year to you! Oh, I'm a penny watcher, too. Our library is fantastic--they order enough books for the club when we call in the title early enough for them to do so. Love our library!

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  8. I think they're here to stay but can you believe there isn't one in my area?!? Hmmm... maybe that's my 2013 resolution -- start a book club!

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  9. Yes, Jaime, I say go for it! Feel free to email me with thoughts/ideas if you want.

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