Since beginning the series I’ve gotten some questions via email, and want to address the most common ones:
What if I hate being told what to read
I hear you. I’m a total mood reader, and it’s not always easy for me to want to read something just because it’s “assigned” for that month.
However, I’ve found the benefits of being involved in a book club vastly outweigh the drawbacks of scheduled titles.
That’s why it’s so crucial you find a book club that’s the right fit for you. If you want literary fiction, don’t join a group that focuses on beach reads. Yes, I think there’s value in stretching your reading boundaries, but there’s stretching, and then there’s being completely mis-matched.
If you’re looking at a book club, find out what sorts of books they read, and how they select them. Are most of the books they’ve read in the past and are planning to read in the future ones you’re excited to read? That may be a good fit for you.
Can’t find a good fit? Consider starting your own book club, and then you can guide the selections to suit your reading style. 🙂
Do I have to join a book club?
Not at all – I’m completely pro-book club, but if the idea of one holds no appeal to you, then just keep reading on your own!
I’m really uncertain about committing to a book club
Look around for one that doesn’t require a firm commitment, at least initially. Many community-sponsored ones (such as at the library or YMCA) will allow you to attend on an as-interested basis: no ongoing commitment required!
You absolutely want to find the right book club before you “settle down” with it. Having a great book club experience is so dependent on fit; not just of the books themselves (although that is paramount!) but also that the meeting times, other personalities, discussion style and environment all work for you. If the seemingly perfect book club takes place at a time you can never attend, it’s not the perfect book club! Keep looking, because the rewards are worth it.
I’d love to find a book club, but I don’t have time to read
Reading time is always an issue, but I feel quite strongly that if reading is a priority for you, you find the time for it. Even if you’re limited to reading in snippets throughout the day, small segments of time do add up. Audio books are also a great option if you have limited sit-down-and-read time.
For what it’s worth, most of my book club’s members are moms, with anywhere from 1 to soon-to-be-5 children. Many of us homeschool. Some work full time, and others work part time . None of us are exactly overloaded with free time, but we all prioritize reading. It is possible to read, even after having children.
Since I’m already on my soapbox, I’ll just stay up here and say that if you are a parent, I think it’s even more important for you to model reading in front of your children. Of course read to them, but also let them see you reading. I want all three of my children to love reading, and I absolutely believe that one of the best ways to make that happen is to emphasize books in our family. Reading to kids, reading by kids, reading by adults – all of it.
Any other questions related to book club? Let me know, and I’ll try and address them in a future post.
This is part of the Booked: Reading Together series. Throughout October, I’m writing all about book clubs.
Check out the archives in case you missed a post.
Previously on The Deliberate Reader
One year ago: Captured By Love
Two years ago: 31 Days of More Great Nonfiction: Teasing Secrets from the Dead
Three years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: Ambulance Girl