A little over a year ago, I thought I was the only woman that wasn’t in a book club.
Book club was synonymous with Ladies Night Out and and an excuse to drink lots of wine. But mostly, it felt like the cool club that I just hadn’t been invited to, some rite of passage for American womanhood of which I had been secretly left out.
So I decided to take action.
I posted on Facebook and asked if anyone else wanted to join me in starting a book club and lo and behold, I had tons of replies. It seems I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t been included.
Fast-forward a year and my book club is one of my favorite things. It hasn’t been easy, making schedules work, and finding books we can all enjoy, but we’ve stuck with it and slowly built a community around this commitment we make each month to ourselves and each other.
Still don’t think you need a book club?
Here’s Why You Need a Book Club
I don’t know about you, but when you’re raising young kids it can feel like parts of your brain start to die off from lack of use. The bright conversation of current events and philosophy is pretty much non-existent at the dinner table with the 10-and-under crowd.
Book club gives your brain a chance to work in a way that it doesn’t normally, and I love that. Discussing a book and the various topics that come up during book club can be such a fresh and life-giving conversation that reminds you that your brain isn’t dead, just hibernating for a bit.
The community of a book club is always unique depending on the make-up of the group, but I’ve yet to be in one that didn’t introduce me to some interesting people that wouldn’t have made it onto my radar otherwise. Even if you only meet once a month, over the course of several books and some interesting discussion, it’s pretty easy to start to form some sense of community.
It’s an easy way to start friendships (which I find hard to as an adult) because you have an instant shared interest. If you’re seeking out a place to plug in, start or join a book club.
There’s something really empowering about carving out time for yourself when you’re care taking for a family. Book club is a sacred date on my calendar that signals to my family that my interests are also a priority. It gives me an excuse to put on something nicer than my workout clothes (that I do NOT work out in!) and go out with friends and that feels like real self-care for me each month.
Not only was starting/joining a book club a risk for me, it was is an ongoing risk to try new genres and book titles. Each month we delve into a new world and push ourselves to think differently, explore a new worldview, and then discuss it. That feels risky in the best way because we have to be vulnerable with our thinking and our own stories as we discuss our reaction to each book.
In a world that increasingly wants us to “align with our team” and skip the debate, I like that book club is a stretching experience.
Let’s be honest, if you’re not having fun at book club, you’re doing it wrong! Laughing and spending time together is just as important as the actual book discussion (which we do, I promise!). We tend to meet at a local bookstore’s coffee shop most nights but we’ve tied meals to books we’ve read and we host a December book exchange in place of reading something new.
Adulting is hard work so any place I can sneak in some fun is a priority. A good excuse for wine/coffee doesn’t hurt either!
Related post: How to Use Facebook Groups to Organize Your Book Club
Want to join a book club?
Start your own! Don’t be afraid to ask around and let people know you’re interested. You might be surprised that others are just waiting for you to ask. We try to make things low-key for our book club so it remains open and welcoming for all of us. NO GUILT allowed! Our book club uses Facebook Groups to keep everyone organized and it works like a charm.
If you’re on the fence, just go for it! And leave a comment below to let me know you did it. Want some book suggestions for your group? Send me an email and I’ll help you pick your first book or check out my book recommendations. Many of them are book club picks!
Are you in a book club? What do you love best about it? What the best thing you’ve read so far? Leave a comment below!