The act of reading need not be an isolated affair.
Book Clubs have moved beyond just enjoyment and entertainment, with many Aussies now embracing the humble book club for escapism and therapy – or bibliotherapy. Whether you want to delve into an easy page-turner or are keen to expand your mind with a more challenging read, book clubs have got you covered for both books and great post-read convos.
With winter well and truly settled in, bibliotherapist, book club expert, and Scribd Ambassador Lucy Pearson, is here to help us create space to connect with friends and family (and combat anxiety) by starting a book club. As well as improving your mental health, reading helps expand your mind and can be a great way to connect with friends, and even make new ones.
Lucy has pulled together her top tips to start a successful book club with friends this winter, that lasts beyond the first cheeseboard.
A compelling read
A book club starts with a great read. Mix it up with fiction and non-fiction, local and international authors. Pick your selections from a diverse range of authors to step outside your comfort zone. This will keep your club engaged, and continually challenged.
Share around the responsibility of selecting a title and think about accessibility, is the novel available as an ebook or audiobook?
Piggy back on a celebrity book club or check out Scribd’s monthly reads for a great place to start, you could try Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason or Who Gets to Be Smart by Bri Lee. Kick off your club by signing up your members to Scribd’s 30 day free trial.
View this post on Instagram
Stick to a schedule
Key to a book club’s success is actually holding the meetings! It can be hard to set a time that suits everyone, by keeping a regular time in everyone’s calendar, members have the same notice and will be less likely to cancel.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and book club can be the first thing to go when we get busy. If monthly is too frequent, switch to every other month! The only “right” timing is one that you’ll stick to.
Come with discussion points
Discussing a text is a great way to start the conversation on a range of topics, helping you expand your mind and challenge your assumptions.
To help everyone get involved and hear a diverse set of thoughts, coming to each club with a set of engaging questions can help get the ball rolling and conversation flowing, a sense of structure can ensure everyone feels welcome to talk about their ideas.
If you want to step up your discussions further, you can even appoint a devil’s advocate each meeting to avoid groupthink!
Think about the venue
Your book club should be a space where everyone feels comfortable to explore new ideas, this might be a rotating home roster, or at a library, bar or cafe!. It could be the same space every time, or you could theme it to each novel.
You can expand your network by offering a virtual meeting space, a hybrid book club can help keep your meetings regular giving people more options to join.
Extend the invite!
Book clubs are a great way to get to know people. Will your book club be a closed circle, or is it an opportunity to network in your city?
Don’t be afraid to mix it up, having a new face each session can help inject new life into discussions.