Earlier this week I was presented with thoughtful gifts from members of a book club I helped to create at a local coffee shop. The group had such a positive experience they wanted to say thank you. Reflecting on this, I realized the incredible benefits of being involved in a book club. I can certainly speak to this as a member of three.
Needless to say, I’m a fan of book clubs.
And I’m about to tell you why.
Book clubs . . .
Several members of the book clubs I attend likely wouldn’t take the time to read were it not for a selected book and a scheduled meeting date. Book clubs offer a degree of accountability and a reason for carving out the time to read (not like I’d ever need a reason for that).
Incite The “Get Real” Factor
Not many environments lend themselves to the type of connectivity that can occur while comfortably seated in a living room, snacking on delicious cheeses, brain buzzing with thoughts about the chosen novel. Conversation slides into the vulnerable, the relatable, and the “real” when the tough questions come out to play. It’s a joy to watch this kind of exchange take off.
Reinstate the True Meaning of Social
You can do everything online these days. It’s refreshing and rejuvenating to meet face-to-face. Nothing like matching laughs with another or nodding profusely when you both agree on the same point. I’m also a firm believer that high-fives will never be uncool.
Allow Unlikely, But Strong Bonds to Develop
Initial conversations, through time, can blossom into rich friendships.
Stir Up Stimulating Conversations
“Mom, where are my cleats?” “Honey, why is the dog food in the toilet?” “Will you volunteer?” “The payment is due in less than a week.”
During most of the day we listen to an audio track of requests, needs, pleading, and demands. Book clubs have a way of tunneling into those long lost crevices in our minds that remind us on occasion we at one point were able to think clearly, we enjoyed presenting a sound, coherent thought that might actually make sense to someone.
Know what’s really cool?
When someone flings a coherent thought back at us and this little thing called conversation ignites.
Grant More Understanding
I have my own personal test groups. In my book clubs I get to constantly be privy to what readers feel works and doesn’t work in books. As an author I take mental notes. I also delight in hearing what kinds of characters gel or repel.
Offer a Glimpse of What’s Been Done
Because I’m reading so much I’m able to see what’s out there. What’s been done before. What’s considered new and innovative. This is incredibly helpful when it comes time for me to plot my novels.
Are Ideal for Sharing Ideas
Not only have I benefited from the collective wisdom present at book clubs, I’ve seen other women launch business ideas by bouncing them off group members. Book clubs are inherent focus groups. And more times than not, it’s not necessary to spill details. Facial expressions and questions serve as excellent indicators whether or not you’re on the right track.
Decorative ideas, appetizers served, specific questions asked. Book club night is the exact time to let your imagination run wild. Authors are incorporating more and more “Enhance Your Book Club” sections in their books (take note, I’ve done this with both of mine) because we know how fun it is to play.
Eat, Drink, & Be Merry
I’ve learned stellar wine choices, intriguing foods to pair up, and the name of a cheese I’m now obsessed with (Toscano) thanks to my book clubs. Topping off the enriching conversations, the bonds that quickly form is the thrill of sampling new foods & drink. Now that’s what I call an evening out.
Brain stimulated. Happy belly. Life changed.
Cheers to book clubs everywhere!
*Please contact me if your book club would like to discuss my soon to be released book, THE FLOWER GIRLS. I’d love to be a part of the event. (Excited to announce CA is on the board for my Key Book Clubs from Coast to Coast Contest)
**Here’s my board “BookClub Brainwave” on Pinterest
***Thrilled to be featured at Julie’s place today sharing about motherhood & writing!