13th May 2020
7 Reasons to join a book club
Book clubs might be something you associate with elderly women, Oprah, or copious amounts of wine (or maybe all three). But that’s not all there is to them. So one of our SURLY patrons has curated a list of seven reasons why you should join a book club.
1. It forces you to actually read
Surprise, book clubs actually involve reading books – who knew. Signing up for a club gives you a dedicated reason to read on a more regular basis. You can convince yourself that reading one more chapter is just as important as getting started on that assignment due tomorrow. And with a little friendly pressure from members in your group, you are more likely to actually finish the books you do start reading! So if you have always wanted to be one of those people with their noses buried in a book 24/7, book clubs are a fantastic way to build this habit (and not feel guilty doing it either).
2. You can make new friends — not just the fictional ones, either
In a book club, you get to hold conversations with people, and no one is going to give you weird looks for acting like the characters are real people. Book clubs are a great way to establish a sense of community with other readers. You can spend hours chatting with people who love the same authors as you, or debating about the merits of a particular character. Either way it’s a more affordable way to have an active social life.
3. It gives you a different perspective
English classes in highschool may have forced you to talk about boring books you really didn’t want to read in the first place, but it’s surprising how this can actually be a interesting activity when done voluntarily! Discussing the wider themes and character arcs of a story can give you a new perspective on reading, and actually allows you to gain more out of books than you did before. You aren’t just reading for entertainment, but rather to learn something insightful about yourself or our society at large. And when you aren’t doing something for a grade, the friendly informal setting means you can voice your thoughts without being worried they might be wrong.
4. It broadens your horizons
Having someone else select or recommend your reading material allows you to be introduced to new genres and styles that you might never have picked yourself. Not only does this increase the amount of material you might read in the future (no more reading slumps!) it also allows you to gain new perspectives of different people and cultures. Reading outside of your own interests can help you grow as a person.
5. It Improves your own writing skills
If you are a writer, or are interested in becoming one, then book clubs are a great place to hone your skills. Not only will you learn how to dissect themes, characters, settings and plots written by other authors, you will also get an indication of what readers enjoy. Perhaps you notice that people in your group tend to connect with a particular writing technique, why not give it a try in your own work to improve your pieces?
6. They usually involve snacks
For those of you who really need convincing, there is almost always food shared at meetings. And if cheese and crackers isn’t enough of an incentive, why not wow your group with something more adventurous and try to make book themed snacks; green eggs and ham, anyone?
7. It gives you a break amidst the madness of life
When so much is going on around you, and life is just a little tough, books can be a haven. Reading by yourself is a fantastic way to relax and unwind, but reading with others in a book club can also be a great way to escape the world yet still maintain a sense of camaraderie.
So if you’re convinced (and I’m sure you are) why not head over to the MSA Book Club page and check out our very own student-organised book clubs, there are plenty of options for all kinds of readers 🙂