What Book Clubs Are (And Why To Join One)

Book clubs, book groups, reading circles – what’s the difference?

Throughout this series, I’ll be using the term “book club” to mean a group of people who meet to discuss books. That same idea is also called a “book group” in other regions. While occasionally people may use those terms to refer to a group of people who get together and simply describe the latest book they’ve read, that is more often called a reader’s circle or reading circle. This month, substitute “book group” for “book club” if that’s the term you’re used to using.

Booked {Reading Together} | What book clubs are

Why would I want to be in one?

The benefits of being in a book club include companionship, and the opportunity to socialize around a common interest – books and reading! You can also expand your literary horizons, and be exposed to selections you’d never discover on your own. It can provide motivation and encouragement to keep reading during busy times of life, or when a particular book is especially challenging. You may discover favorite new authors or genres, or be reminded why you love the authors and genres you do.

Book discussions promote deeper understanding of the book, and can bring to light themes you may have missed. Varying perspectives from the other members can make you appreciate a book more, or reinforce that the book isn’t one you particularly enjoy. It helps you to read critically, and the discussions themselves can promote your communication skills as you share your opinion with the group.

Some books are simply better when they’re discussed – there’s so much to them that can be brought out in a great discussion.

Still more benefits

If you’ve got small children, book club can be a great excuse to get out of the house – on your own – for a couple of hours. Chatting about books with friends who love to read? Even if the book’s a dud that’s a recipe for a fun evening. Book club night is always a highlight of the month for me.

Finally, a great book club will often (always?) involve food. (More on this later.)

Booked | Reading Together | A Series All about Book ClubsBooked: Reading Together

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: The Last Full Measure by Ann Rinaldi
Two years ago: 31 Days of More Great Nonfiction: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Three years ago: 31 Days of Great Nonfiction: It’s Not About the Tapas by Polly Evans


  1. I agree about getting out of the house. For me, book club is mostly about socializing with like-minded people. I love discussing the book we’ve read and other books we’re all reading, but even more than that, I just like connecting with friends about our lives.

    I am starting a new book club for other kindergarten moms in the hope of meeting some new friends in my town that have similar interests. What better place to start than by talking about books!

  2. Seriously. Book club is always a highlight of my month too!

    • Yes – I’m so sad I missed so many of the meetings recently, but hopefully that stretch is over and I’ll be back almost all the time. 🙂

  3. I’ve been in two book clubs and wish I could find a third. I’ve found that after 3-4 years, the books fizzle out and it becomes more of a social club. I am super serious about reading but without a club I tend to pick all the same type of books. I think that joining a club where I didn’t know anyone might be better. Hope you’ll have tips on where to find one. Found you via 31 Days.

    • Sorry I missed your comment earlier. I don’t know if you saw my post about finding a book club in your area, or maybe an online book club might work better for you? (I’m having one of those here next year too, if you’re interested). Also, would following along with a reading challenge be enough to push you outside of your reading habits?

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