A recent opinion piece from the New York Times titled “Really? You’re Not in a Book Club?” explores the book club boom of the last few years. According to the author, James Atlas, it’s pretty safe to assume that most people belong to a book club in some way, shape, or form.
Book clubs have been meeting for ages, but they’ve often been associated with living room chats for the literary elite. What we’re seeing now is people breaking away from this tradition and doing their own thing; we’ve got book clubs meeting in libraries, book clubs meeting in bars…in some cities we’ve even got library book clubs meeting in bars!
Why the big change? Websites like Goodreads and the newer Zola Books are making it very easy for book lovers around the world to connect, read together, and share. They’ve got groups based on location, groups based on age, groups based on interest, and so much more. We’re no longer bound to the monthly picks of our friends, co-workers, or any other local club that we’re lucky enough to swindle an invite from. If you’ve got an interest, no matter how odd or quirky, chances are there’s a book club out there to support it.
So if you’re reading this, and you really aren’t in a book club, you’re probably very anxious to join one. Why not start with the WPL’s Goodreads Online Book Club? We’ve been active for about 9 months now, and have had some excellent discussions. Our selections tend to be all over the place, which for many of us is just the nudge we need to try something new. Variety is the spice of life, right? We never meet in person, and there are no set times for discussion. We post questions randomly throughout the month and people respond at their convenience. There’s no obligation, so if you’re not digging the selection for a given month you don’t have to feel bad about skipping it. Check out some of the books we’ve read so far.
For the month of April we will be discussing “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” by Maria Semple. We picked this book because it’s funny and light; a great rebound from the “Devil” we got up close and personal with for the month of March. The author, Maria Semple, is a former TV writer (Arrested Development), and is quite entertaining.
Click here to check out the book trailer – a comedic take on the author pitching her novel to Seattle book folk.
If you are already in a book club, don’t forget that you can save time and money with our Book Club to Go Kits!
If you’re willing to share, we’d love to hear about some of the book clubs you have belonged to! What, in your opinion, makes a good book club?