Book clubs are awesome!
Something about the people who come together over their mutual love of books makes me so happy.
Beyond the general reasons, there are many specific perks to joining a book club. In this article, you will find eight benefits of a book club and why you’d love being a part of one.
Benefits of a Book Club
1. Make you accountable to read
It can be difficult to find time to read. But being part of a book club means you have an obligation to do it.
This may be obvious, but you must read the book before being part of the discussion, and your opinion should be considered.
Some people might think they can just sit back and listen, but this isn’t really part of the experience unless you’re in charge of hosting — and even then, it’s not fair to your fellow club members if you don’t participate.
Imagine if they see through any of your flimsy attempts at feigning interest or understanding (such as “Oh yeah! That was great,” when clearly nothing else you have said since).
2. Meet like-minded people
If you’re looking for a way to expand your circle of friends, or if you need someone who shares your interests, joining a book club is a great way to meet new like-minded people.
By getting together regularly with other book lovers, it makes sense that friendships will form naturally over time. However, if this doesn’t happen organically within a group setting, don’t hesitate to reach out personally!
Not only does it help build rapport between members, but it also gives each person confidence about what they have experienced firsthand through reading the same book together.
3. Unwind amidst the craziness of life
You may not realize how much stress you’re under until you sit down, read, and discuss a book in a relaxing atmosphere with friends who share your interests.
A book club is a great way to escape your daily life. It allows you to relax and enjoy yourself differently. Your mind will be focused on something other than your job or family, which can be very helpful for your mental health.
4. Encourage critical thinking
A book club can help you develop your critical-thinking skills by encouraging you to engage deeply with stories and books on literary theory or other topics related to different kinds of literature.
It’s easy to read passively, but if everyone in your book club is doing the same thing, this can lead to boredom and disengagement with a story.
Consciously discussing themes and characters helps readers appreciate literature on a deeper level.
Questions like “What do we think about how this character is written?” or “What does this reveal about society?” encourage critical thinking by making readers question their assumptions about the world around them.
In addition to developing your ability to engage with stories from different perspectives than your own, asking these kinds of questions helps develop empathy for other people’s experiences.
5. Expand your reading horizons
Joining a book club gives you the opportunity to try new things because you will have a good reason to read books you wouldn’t normally choose for yourself.
Reading a book that’s not your favorite genre, author, or topic can make you look at the world differently.
For example, if you don’t usually read sci-fi novels but decide to read one for your book club, it could open up new ideas about how future technology may impact society.
Reading outside your comfort zone can also help you find a new favorite author or genre. Isn’t that exciting?
6. Improve your research skills
Book clubs are great for improving or developing research skills because they emphasize active participation in discussions instead of passive reading alone.
In a book club, you must find information supporting your points and arguments. You will also need to evaluate the relevance of this information and use it appropriately in the discussion.
So, if the topic of a book that your club chooses intrigues you, now you have your chance to explore it in depth!
7. Improve your communication skills
You’re going to have to communicate. A lot.
For those introverts or social anxiety sufferers, the idea of a book club can be daunting. However, many people find that book clubs help improve their communication skills.
You’ll have to talk in order to share your opinions, listen when others share theirs, and consider what they say. You might even need to ask questions or explain why you think the way you do — all things that require focus and attentiveness.
Through this process, you will learn how to express yourself and communicate more effectively.
8. Become a better writer
Joining a book club is an excellent way to improve your writing skills. Because when you read different kinds of books, you are exposed to different writing styles, making it easier to identify the type of writing that works best for you.
In a book club, writing reviews or summaries are not unusual. When writing them, members can improve their ability in this area through practice over time.
By learning how to do this task well, members can become better writers overall because they will know how best to describe those books and bring them alive when they talk about them later in a discussion.
How to Find the Right Book Club
Now that you have ideas about the benefits of a book club, you may be wondering how to find the right one for you. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
- Decide what you want from a book club.
- Find a book club dedicated to your interests. It’s nice to be willing to try new things, but it’s OK to have a theme or genre restriction, too, so you won’t be stuck reading something you hate every month.
- A small, focused book club can be more fulfilling than a large, unfocused gathering.
- Check with your town’s library and local bookstore about book clubs in the area.
- Consider finding an online book club if you can’t find a good match locally.
- A good book club is built on trust and comfort with each other, so ask friends, family, or coworkers if they’re in book clubs.
- And, don’t be afraid to start your own club if you don’t see what you’re looking for!
As you’ve read in this article, there are many benefits of a book club.
A good book club is more than just a reading group. It’s an opportunity to connect with other people and get new ideas, make reading more fun and exciting than it would be, and help you grow.
Lastly, if you are already in a book club and need some recommendations to choose from, you may want to check my article on nine better books like Eat Pray Love.