All About Book Clubs

little talks v2

During my last discussion post, I talked about how I felt when no one one understands my love for books. (See post here!) With the help of your comments and feedback, I realized that this problem of mine rooted from not having many real-life bookish friends. It came to me then that I needed to find myself some book nerds to huddle and discuss books with. I saw one bright solution ahead of me: Join a book club.

Or you know, maybe start one. While this was a totally cool idea, I’ve never actually been a part of a book club before. So I ended up asking myself- what does being a book club member entail, anyway?

The Positives and the Perks

  • Bookish Friends – Probably the best thing about book clubs is having real-life bookish friends! Friends who you could meet and chat books with, those who’d text you when they finish a really wonderful book, those who’d go to the bookstore with you and fangirl as well when an awesome book is released!
  • Bookish Fun – The list of bookish activities you could do with your local book club friends is endless. Y’all can do readathons, roundtable discussions, watch book-to-movie adaptations at the cinema together, and maybe even do parties in the name of books!
  • Bookish Exploration – Perks of meeting new people in a book club is that they’d also recommend you new stuff! They can recommend books you’ve never heard of before or maybe convince you to read that book you always had in your shelf.

The Downfalls and the Demands

  • Time and Commitment – I guess this could be a really huge downfall if you’re a really busy person and couldn’t take a break from your tight schedule. Having a book club also means actual participating and if you’re not dedicated and committed, the book club can only become a burden.
  • Differences – Sure, there’s a common ground in books but what about difference in tastes? What if you want to talk about romance but someone else wants to discuss time travel? There’s also going to be differences in your devotion to books, I’m sure.  These are some things the members will have to work on.

If I really think about it, the book blogging online community is one big book club. But agh, I want those perks and I want to meet more real-life bookish friends! I do really want to start a book club but I’m totally afraid that a) no one would join and b) it would turn out to be an epic fail! Very torn about this topic so I was hoping you’d discuss with me!

What are your thoughts on book clubs? Are you a part of any book club? If no, have you ever thought of joining or starting one? If yes, how does it feel like? What activities do you do in your book club? What are the plus and negatives of being in a book club? If you started your own book club, how did you do it? Should I do the book club thing or not? Talk to me!

42 Responses

  1. I don’t think I would like book clubs. I mean, I’d love being able to hang out with bookish people, but there are two big cons for me:

    1. I don’t like being told what to read. Book club is all about picking a book to read together, but I’m not going to always be able to pick the book, and I don’t want to feel pressured/obligated to read a book I’m not in the mood to read or flat out don’t want to read ever. I’m a total whim reader. I like being able to read whatever sounds good, whenever I want.

    2. Honestly, I’m not big on discussing books. But I think this largely comes from my weird perception of book clubs being super analytical… but I’m sure they don’t have to be. Maybe it would be okay if the book club was really informal and laid back and we just talked about how hot the characters were or something lol.

    Overall I just feel like I’m too picky to ever be in a book club.

    1. That’s totally understandable, Ashley! If I were honest, I like being able to choose what to read as well (I think you nailed it with the term “whim reader”) but having an obligation to read something doesn’t weigh me down much so I think I’ll be okay. I don’t think all book clubs are super analytical but I do get what you mean! Yeah, I’d love a very laid-back discussion rather than a meticulous one! :)

  2. I think book clubs are fantastic and I have been in online book clubs but I just don’t think it’s the same as being in a real life book club and meeting and hanging out with your friends in book club. I think you should definitely start a book club! :D There is bound to be fellow bloggers interested in it and I’m sure altogether you guys can figure out fun bookish activities to do :)

  3. I started a book club last year and it worked for a little while and then completely fell apart. In the end I was the only one reading the assigned book. It was more of an excuse for everyone to get together. I think book clubs are hard because generally they are made with the best intentions, but some people just aren’t as passionate about books as book bloggers are. If you were to start or join one, I would try to find people in your area that you don’t immediately know but have a passion for books. It was frustrating for me to meet up each month to discover no one else read. I ended up feeling like a task master, which wasn’t fun at all. Good Luck!

    1. Yeah that’s what my mom’s book club is like. They have regular meetings but so many people just don’t read the book or they don’t talk about books at all. It’s just an excuse for their group of friends to regularly get together for lunch.

    2. Your comment on my last discussion actually prompted some of my thoughts on this! “I think book clubs are hard because generally they are made with the best intentions, but some people just aren’t as passionate about books as book bloggers are.” – Love this insight! I hope I find some people who are really really in to books! Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Anne! :)

  4. I’m actually part of a book club since last year! Me and some other Dutch book bloggers came together on a bookfair and we decided there that we wanted more. Hence, the dutchies book club :D I really like it! We come together once every month and together we pick the book of that month. So far, we’ve been fairly the same, so I think that we don’t have much differences :)

  5. I would love to be a part of a book club! There’s just this feeling and atmosphere that goes with being able to share your opinions/thoughts on books that all of you have read. And I think a book club for book bloggers is a wonderful idea considering how many people are on the internet these days.

  6. I’m in an online book club, but it’s still early on in it’s life and I haven’t been able to really participate yet(I’m hoping to remedy that for March, though!), and I’ve never been a part of of a real life book club, so I have very little experience with book clubs. I WANT to have one though, especially a real life one! Online book clubs can be awesome, but I wish there was one around me. I’ve made some inquiries but nothing has come up, and I don’t really have the time or energy to devote to being the person who starts a book club(well, I suppose technically I do, but I prefer to use that time and energy for other things). I was an English major, so I LOVE discussing books! And I think in a book club it would be fun because I would have to be as serious, and we could just discuss whatever is on our minds. Plus, there’s something appealing about reading a book a month together. I love reading by myself, but reading with a group sounds like it could be a good experience too.

    1. I have little experience with book clubs too. I’m sure online book clubs could be just as fun but I totally want a real life on.! I guess it’d be hard if you were the one to start the book club, yeah? I’m not sure I could devote much time to that either especially since I’m in college. I’m fine with reading and a book as a group, as long as I could go at it on my own pace. But yeah, the discussions after would be refreshing and enjoyable!

  7. I don’t have that many real-life bookish friends either but I don’t want to join a book club. I’m already busy as it is and I like to be free to choose the book I’d read. And book clubs have these discussion sessions where they mince every word the authors writes in the book and analyze it. I’m not the kind of reader that over analyzes why the author chose this character’s dress to be red or something like that. Book club sounds cool but it just doesn’t work for me.

    1. Huh, I always assumed bookworms would be pretty enthusiastic about book clubs but I guess not. That’s totally okay though. I understand you’re reasons! Still, I think book clubs don’t necessarily have to be so analytical when it comes to discussions.

      1. Maybe if the book club isn’t overanalytical of the books then i guess that’s okay. :D It could be more of a book clique where bookworms gather and just fangirl about their favorite books and recommend books to each other, or swap books.

  8. I completely get that. I’ve thought about doing them before, but I don’t think it would work for me. Most of them require you to all read the same book within a set amount of time. Personally, I like my freedom. I adore talking books, but I want my freedom in it. Having a real life friend to talk to about books would be awesome, but I’d prefer it in a different setting I think. Great post! Definitely highlights some pros and cons I hadn’t thought of.

  9. I’m weird when it comes to book clubs. On the one hand I really want to be part of one to have a group of people to talk to about a certain book. I can only imagine how much fun it must be to actually meet to do that, on the other hand I don’t like to havevto read a certain book in a given time. I’m currently part of a GR groip where we read one or two books a month but somehow it’s not as much fun as I want it to be. Having to stop at a specific page in the book to write my comment about it in the groupktakes away the fun. I would rather just randomly shout out what I’m thinking :D that’s why I started reading books together with just one friend. We start reading at the exact same time each evening and we text all the time while reading. It’s slow going but a lot of fun and the only things that comes near to a book club that I really enjoy. I just wish I could do this more often.LMaybe I should randomly shout out tweets that I’m starting a book and ask for someone to join me :D

    1. I know what you mean, Crini! It’s the same for me which is why I don’t think much of my goodreads groups! I imagine joining a real book club where all we have to do is talk about the books we read. I really want that. :)

  10. This is a relevant post–thanks for discussing this! I have found that a lot of my book discussions, bookish community does come from blogging and Twitter, and with friends that don’t live in my area. However, I did start a book club some years back and it was a great success until I moved away! The good thing is that I read books I wouldn’t normally have read. I ended up really liking a lot of those. The bad thing was when it was my turn to choose a book and no one else ended up reading it because they didn’t like it! I agree with some of the other comments–it’s tricky because you don’t want to feel like a taskmaster but if people don’t read the book, what’s the point of meeting? It’s really fun to get together and talk, but if it’s going to be a book club and work well, it seems people should read the book, right? So I suppose there are pros and cons, but I’m thinking maybe a book club on GoodReads might be a way for some online interaction to happen among those of us that would like to do an online book club. I’ve started a book club again in the area where I live now and it’s been fun, but having some of the same challenges as last time so would love any other thoughts or ideas as you are brainstorming! :)

    1. You’re welcome! It’s the same thing for me, actually. But that’s awesome that you’ve started a book club before. I think it’s great that it encouraged you to branch out with other books and that really is one thing I’m looking forward to when it comes to book clubs.

      I imagine being taskmaster would be hard but if you have really enthusiastic members who are willing to help, then things would be pretty alright , wouldn’t they? I just hope I could find some really bookish members if I ever do start a book club!

      I think if I ever get to starting one, I’d create a goodreads group so people could easily keep up! And I think if there are Book-Of-The-Month reads, people should get to read it at their own time and then just be able to discuss it when they meet up. Also, wouldn’t it be fun if each member gets to share about some other book they read that was not chosen by the group? Well, those are just some of my ideas. :)

  11. I am extremely bad at the whole book club thing. I just don’t think they’re for me. I can’t plan what I’m going to read and I think that’s my biggest problem. Being told I HAVE to read something sort of ruins the fun of it. I love talking about books, but to me being in a book club kind of seems like gaining discussion at a cost. Also, I pretty much impulsively Tweet (or whatever) what I’m thinking about a book. Saving all my thoughts for a book club meeting wouldn’t fly because I’d start forgetting things.
    I think if you want to start a book club you should give it a go. You might really like it :D

  12. Being a literature student reading books and analysing and discussing them is second nature to me. I’m not part of a book club and I would like to. But the major problem I face, is that a lot of the authors I read, and many of them really good, we don’t get their physical copies in our country. Also, not everyone can afford or is comfortable with a kindle, or any other e-book device. Even if they were, again we face the same problem-unavailability of books.

    A few of my favourite authors have been introduced to me by my best friend. It is only around two or three years ago that I started reading e-books. I’m way to restless to sit in front of my PC to read a book. But since I got a cellphone and I realized there is a provision for reading books, I’ve more e-books than I would care to count.

    So, my discussing of books is limited to talking it out with a couple of my friends and buddy reads on goodreads. But if I do find a group of people who have atleast 20% taste in books similar to mine, and if we could actually procure those books, I’d love to join a book club. You get to read books that you like and you also get to get out of your comfort zone and explore.

    1. Aw that sucks that some books are not available in your country. :( I don’t think that would be a problem though for me though since our bookstores have abundant stocks of books luckily.

      Same! I really hope to find bookish friends who have the same taste! But it’d be awesome, recommending out-of-norm reads to each other too. :)

  13. I’m from the Philippines and I’ve never heard of a book club being held in my area (Cubao and Calamba,Laguna) I think it’s a brilliant idea to have start a book club :)
    The cons other people said above do make sense but I the very idea of a book club excites me! And if people aren’t passionate about books, then they wouldn’t bother joining a book club. And it would be really nice to have friends who reads books!

  14. I’m in an online book club with 5 other book bloggers. We meet via google hangout and so far it has been a really good experience. I love the fact that it’s online as there is no trouble meeting up, we all just agree a date and time in advance and it’s so handy not to even have to leave the house. We also only meet once a quarter and that works fine for me. More often than that and I’d feel under pressure as my own tbr pile is so big. One of the big advantages for me is that it makes me read books I might not choose on my own and the discussing is fun too.

  15. Never done a book club, but I have friends who love them. It “makes” them read, or just gives them an excuse when work and life intrude. And you do read things you wouldn’t normally pick up. I think that’s kind of a good idea. If you do start one, I’d hand pick some people (2-3) that you would enjoy and then open it up to more people. Meet in a library, bookstore or school and make it an hour. Food always helps :) Choose the first book and then rotate who chooses. Also, give everyone enough time to read the book beforehand.

    You could have a theme (Romance, Sci-Fi) for the whole club or just call it a YA club. I think it could be fun!

  16. I love the idea of a book club, but I am not too keen on having people tell me what to read, and lack time for actual meetups. Which is why I started an online bookclub called “booklat” ( It has day-based themes, like What-I’m-Reading-Wednesday, etc., so that everyone can participate wherever they are, whatever they’re reading. Maybe you’d like to join us there? :)

  17. I totally agree with your points. I love books and it would be awesome to join a book club, but I have those moments where I would not pick up a book for a month or two because I do get tired of reading now and then. I’m also busy and get easily addicted to watching movies and playing video games so yeah haha.

  18. I love the idea of a book club and I would love to start one eventually, maybe when I’m a mother but at the moment, as I freelance and I freelance over two cities 40 miles apart it’s hard for me to stay committed to a location for a book club. I sometimes find it hard to keep up to date with my virtual bookclub (as you said the online book community is one big book club).

    I think once my freelancing has settled and my wedding photography business goes full-time i’d have a lot more free time but as of yet despite all the goodness that is books and finding book friends, time overrules :-(.

    I’d maybe like to start something over Goodreads, and have a monthly book we all read and the discuss on each of our blogs. that’ll be cool.

    Great post little lady :-) x

  19. I feel like Ashley in your first comment does. I’m in some Goodreads groups that have a book club type section, where they read and discuss a book every month. I haven’t read the book once. Most of them are books I’m not interested in at all. Sometimes I’ve read it already but don’t remember enough about it to discuss it. I haven’t even looked at that area lately, but I know they used to vote on which book to read and even then, most of them were books I didn’t care to read so I just wouldn’t vote.

  20. I’ve never done a book club and while it sounds kinda fun, I agree with others that it might be hard to read an assigned book I don’t really want to read. Still it might be worth it if the group is right. We have a club around here w/ both men and women and it’s mostly sci-fi/ fantasy, so I’d probably be fine. Maybe I’ll join one of these days. :)

  21. Book clubs can be very fun! I don’t know if I’d have the time to commit to being part of one full-time, but I do like reading along with groups of my friends if I can manage it. It’s always fun to share opinions and reactions with other people! I think, if you’re willing to take the time to manage it, you should definitely consider starting one.

  22. I haven’t really joined any book clubs, but I definitely want to be part of one. And not just the online kind. I think it would be really nice to have continuously flowing discussions. And I like the idea of reading the same book with someone, and then talking about it. Also I think differences are normal. It can give you different perspectives on things. I think it can be solved by giving each member a fair chance to talk about what they like. :)

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  24. Maybe it’s possible Hazel. Especially now that the book community in PH is growing and if you start one I’d definitely want to join you. Are you going to pursue with this? I want to be a part of a book club too. not just virtually, but a real book club.

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