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Reasons To Join A Book Club

Post by: Sonia Safri

Of late, I’ve noticed quite a few online and offline book clubs spring up. But not many takers. So I got thinking as to why someone should (or not) join a book club. Come to think of it, there are quite a lot of advantages of being an active book lover.


1.    Freedom Of Expression
Oh, this sure ranks #1 for me. The freedom to express your opinions about the book, the characters, the plot, the author –to a larger audience is quite appealing. To me at least!
(Please make sure you have all your facts/figures right, before being adamant about your opinions!)

2.    Motivation (Read: Push)

Most of us, I know, love reading. But there ain’t enough time. That’s what we all say. All the time. But being a part of a book club adds that extra bit of responsibility that we seem to have been shirking all this while. It makes you take time off and set aside a schedule to ensure everyday reading. Apart from the intellectual stimulation, it also makes you aware, about new books in the market and current topics of interest.

3.    Community
Reading / discussing together brings along a sense of belonging and togetherness.

4.    Reading New Things
Sometimes we get stuck in a certain genre or category of book. Say, if you like non-fiction, you end up reading more of that. Mostly. Being a part of a book club ensures that you are reading a variety of genres, learning from them and appreciating what each has to offer. The good and the bad. Under ordinary circumstances not many of us would venture into newer categories.

5.    Interacting with new people

What’s the point in just talking to your friends about books you’ve read? The thrill lies in getting to know what strangers think about the book, its ideation and the author’s brainwave. Making friends isn’t difficult in today’s time. But getting in touch with like-minded individuals, from different walks of life, is kinda not that easy. And being a part of a book club opens up that portal quite easily. The upside to it would be that you already would have a lot more in common, in terms of intellectual observations.

6.    New Recommendations
Well, there’s only this much you can read alone. Having someone recommend a good book is always a nice thing. Also, if the members are kind enough to lend you books to read – bingo! God forbid, if the book isn’t up to your taste, at least then you’d have someone else to blame for wasting your time on that book/author!

7.    A New Experience
Not all of us can have all perspectives to a certain book. There could be angles to an author’s writing that you’d have missed out on. And having someone help you see that is a new experience in itself to savor. Wise men say, reading alone is good. But sharing a book with someone who can help you develop and observe new insights is a wonderful feeling. You not only get new insights, and new perspectives, but also get to observe how others think and absorb certain writing material.
You could be a die-hard romantic, but unless you interact with people (well read ones), how would you know about the many more romantic books apart from the Harlequin series. Or who would bring about the underlying themes of the fantasy world of the Twilight Saga apart from the romanticism. And there’s so much you can learn about the English countryside from Lady Chatterley.


8.    Healthy Discussions

Some books are meant to be discussed. Right from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to The Holy Bible, some books have been amongst the most talked about books. And rightly so.
Just to give you an example, Nabokov’s Lolita is one book that evokes emotions and flares rage enough to get into discussions and  debates.

9.    New Approach To Writing
Having opened your mind to the different topics, styles, techniques and approaches, it helps you hone your skills as a writer. It makes you look deeper and in many more direction than you possibly could.


10.    Quality Time
Let’s face it –some people do have all the time in the world to indulge in useless activities. And for the working many, it serves as “quality time”. It encourages reading and indulging in something that proves beneficial in the long run.
It is any day better than just lazing around and absorbing utterly futile information from the “idiot box”?

11.    Sharpening your communication skills
Good discussions, amongst a varied set of people, help you polish your communication skills. You get to increase your vocabulary to more words than profanities and it brings fluidity of your speech. Oh, and also, you’ll end up interpreting nonverbal communications –like you’d instantly know what a certain look or expression means; or what a certain body language reflects. It helps you grow as a person. Let’s not forget, it also helps you overcome any shyness or nervousness that you’d be a victim of earlier. Yes dear, no more panic attacks or stutters.

12.    Fun
Let’s not forget the fun factor. Setting aside some time to read, or catch up with like-minded individuals who bring in more elements of writing and reading is a catch in itself. Who knows, you’d end up swapping more books there than you would’ve done otherwise. The treasure of friendship and the written word will only expand.

All said and done, a good book club is like an escape and a journey into something new and wonderful. A safe place to exchange and challenge ideas. Why not join in today?!


Add Your Comment:

this's the first time i'm part of a book club, and i really think there should be more of these, people're beginning to forget the art of reading, this being one of the many reasons there're no takers for many books that're actually worth reading, thanks to alternative media.
Sun,Jul 24th 2011 4:49 AM
Super! I need to hone my *punch-the-wrong-guy* skills.
Only if there were more offline clubs.
Online tis difficult to punch the guy!
Fri,Jul 22nd 2011 6:36 AM
I don't think avid book lovers need a reason to join a book club.
Where there are shall find us!
Fri,Jul 22nd 2011 6:34 AM