Book Club! I know. You read the title of this blog and thought, “Are you kidding me? How could I possibly fit one more thing into my schedule? When do I ever have the time to sit and read, much less go and talk to people about something I probably didn’t read?” Sound about right?!
But hear me out.
There are many benefits to joining a book club. As technology has advanced, so has the ability to read books. In turn, book clubs have become creative in their meeting styles. The pandemic has forced even “in-person” book clubs to become more accessible.
In other words, I can offer you several reasons that a book club could be just what you need.
I have written a lot about the importance of taking care of yourself, especially if you have a frantically busy family and work life. You absolutely need to take time for yourself. This can be accomplished by putting aside a small block of time that you use strictly for your own benefit.
Take me away
Books can help you forget about everything in the real world, and in an increasingly stressful time, that can be invaluable. Transport yourself to a place where you can read about someone else’s problems instead of worrying about your own.
Better yet, find a genre that you can really lose yourself in. Try to solve a mystery. Visit a fantasy world. Hunt down a serial killer in a crime novel. The possibilities are quite literally endless with opportunities to give yourself a brain break.
If you have kids, you know how limited your adult time can be. We have all been at that point where we crave adult interaction in any form. Here is an opportunity to establish that outlet for yourself. Not only do you get to talk to adults, but you actually get to have adult conversations about adult topics.
In other words, it’s an opportunity to do something completely UN-kid-(or un-work-) related.
Making adult friends is hard. Everybody has crazy schedules and even if you do make friends, they are often through your kids. If the kids’ interests diverge, it becomes harder to keep those friends. A book club can be a constant where you all have something in common regardless of what else is going on in life.
I just gave you a few reasons “for.” Now, here is where I address a couple of the above arguments “against” and give you some more points in favor “for” a book club.
“I have no time to read.”
I’m going to call you on that one. You’re reading this blog, aren’t you? You probably scroll through social media several times a day. Maybe watch some mindless television at the end of the day to unwind your brain?
I’m not saying you should stop any of those. But if you have time to fit those in, you can squeeze in even 30 minutes a day to read a book.
Audio is your friend
Many books now have audio versions, whether it is a download through an app or via streaming (yes, that’s a thing). Just type “audiobook” into your browser, and you’ll see how many versions are available.
So, whether you’re sitting in the pick-up line at school or waiting for dance class or soccer practice to finish, you can listen to a chapter or two of a book.
“My schedule is too busy.”
Again, if you have time for other things, you can probably fit a book club into your schedule. Many of them are made up of busy people, so they understand people’s schedules. They also want people to have a chance to actually read a book, right? What’s the point otherwise?
Most book clubs only meet every two to three months, and only for an hour or so. That should be easy enough to fit into any schedule. And it’s not like you are making a lifelong commitment. If you have a one off conflict, that’s how life goes sometimes. Don’t give up just because of that.
Book clubs have been meeting online ever since social media became a thing, but with the pandemic and shutdowns of libraries and bookstores, even “in-person” ones have moved to the internet. This gives the members even more flexibility.
Book groups and book clubs often form pages on platforms that allow for readers to post their thoughts on a book in an open-ended discussion. So, you don’t even need to go to a “meeting,” you just respond whenever you finish a chapter (or however the page is set up for responses).
Honestly, they’ve made it as easy as possible for people to participate.
“I’m not that interested in the books they choose.”
Here’s a bonus argument. I’m going to let you in on a secret.
Many book clubs are established solely for the “self-care” reason I stated above. They are started by people who are craving adult time. And the books are often secondary to the social aspect. They’re an excuse for adults to get together, maybe have a glass of wine or special dessert, and talk about anything except adult issues.
And maybea book gets discussed…but maybe not.
In short, the book clubs of today are not your mother’s book clubs. Get rid of the image of ladies sipping tea and discussing a boring novel.
If you’re in an area where libraries and bookstores are open, take a look at their calendars or bulletin boards to see what they offer. But you’ll have much better luck with online options.
Find one that looks interesting. Pick a genre you like or would be interested in and search it on Facebook. You’ll be amazed at the number of choices. The best part is that? If it doesn’t turn out to be the right fit, you can leave that group and find another one.
Most importantly, you’re doing something to improve your self-care. And that is the main reason I think a book club could be just what you need.
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