Reading For The Soul: The Benefits and Fun of Reading & Book Clubs

Sometimes reading and finishing a book isn’t enough for the curious bibliophiles out there. Whether you want to discuss your favorite passages, bounce off theories about the story’s plot, or even plan out a book event, then joining a book club might be the answer for you. One of the benefits of a book reading club is that it makes the introspective act of reading social, perfect for the social butterflies out there.

If you’ve been wondering how to get back to reading books, then book clubs are also a great way to jumpstart your reading journey. With a book club, you get book recommendations and stimulating and encouraging conversation with your fellow readers that can help you to finally finish that book you’ve always put off reading. It is also a great way to engage with a community that can offer you support in the most creative and thoughtful way possible during the pandemic.

Joining a book club is easy, but if you’ve been wondering how to start and organize a book club or if you’re looking for book club ideas to try with your current reading circle, then this article is for you!


What is a Book Club?

In the simplest of words, a book club is a reading group. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that a book club is boring!

Joining a book club is a way to ensure that you can regularly read books. Formal book clubs often meet regularly, usually on a monthly basis to discuss their reads for the month. Depending on your fellow club members, these discussions can be highly literary or more laymanized. Your book club may also choose to focus on just one genre, author, or even series!

Today, however, book clubs aren’t just confined to reading as their activity. Eschewing the stereotype of bookworms as antisocial and sad individuals is easy, especially with the creative activities that contemporary book clubs plan out. From book reading charity activities to literary Halloween parties, book clubs can have a myriad of activities that aim to share and spread the love for reading and books.


How to Start a Book Club

Joining a book club is quite easy: just ask your local library or book store if they have a regular book club. More often than not, these establishments will have a group of enthusiastic readers that are usually more than happy to welcome another reader into their circle. However, if you’re looking for something more specific or if you’re trying to set up a more organized reading circle among your friends, then starting a book club might be just what you need.

If you’re wondering how to start a book club, here are some tips that might help:


Set a goal, objective, and unique selling point

Similar to other organizations, a book club needs to have an objective in order to run smoothly. When setting your objectives, remember that they don’t have to be grand or complicated. If this is your first time establishing a book club, then start small and simple.

Aside from your club’s goals and objectives, it’s important to establish an identifier for your club. This doesn’t really have to be very unique, but it will help differentiate your book club from other reading groups. Is your book club going to focus on a specific genre or author? Will it be for everyone or just a certain group (like an office book club)? These are some questions that you need to answer when starting your book club.


Understand your members

The success of your book club discussions and activities depend largely on your members’ commitment and enthusiasm. Similar to how a conversation deepens and flourishes when participants are engaged, a book club grows with members who constantly come back and take part in the club’s activities.

Understanding your members means knowing what kind of participant they are. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of book club members: the avid readers and the non-reader.

Non-readers are usually students or young professionals that may have difficulty procuring books.It’s important to note that a member who is a non-reader is not someone who dislikes reading. Rather, non-readers are people who may find reading less accessible in terms of schedule or finances. As such, most students and young professionals may be considered as non-readers since they may find difficulty in finding the time or funds for leisure reading. Non-readers make for awesome members as they can project their interest in the discussion even if they have not read the book. Think of people who join forums to know more about a book or individuals who wish to discuss their opinions in depth--they can make for a meaningful discussion inside your book club.

On the other hand, avid readers are dedicated individuals who dissect the nuances of each book they read. These are some of the best people to have in your book club as they can stimulate lively and insightful discussions, share information about the book, and foster an environment that is welcoming and conducive for learning.

When starting a book club, it is essential that you understand how to appeal to both types of members.


Have a reading list

A good book club will have a constant book recommendation for each month. Don’t be caught off guard and have a reading list for your members prepared.

If you’re looking for good books to read, then you can browse through, an online bookstore in the Philippines, to find your club’s next read!


Choose the right moderator

Book club discussions are usually the highlight of most formal book clubs. The last thing you want is to bore your members, which is why it’s important to make the conversation lively and engaging. The right moderator can help you make sure that your book club discussions are enjoyable and insightful.

Depending on who your members are, you can have a different moderator each session to keep your members involved. It’s also a great way to encourage members to speak out and trains each member how to keep a discussion ongoing.

When picking a moderator, it’s best to consider the book genre and author. It might be a good idea to have a member who has read the book in question at least once moderate so that they can add their insights and knowledge into the discussion.


Start small

Similar to how reading can be an intimate activity, book clubs can also function as a safe space to discuss ideas and explore new experiences. If it’s your first time to start or join a book club, start out with a small group of readers and friends that you trust. This lets you and the club have a comfortable vibe, making the discussions more free flowing.


Book Club Activities & Ideas to Try

Book clubs aren’t just restricted to reading. While reading is a book club’s primary activity, that doesn’t mean that that is all your reading group can do. After all, when it comes to stories, your imagination is the limit.

If you’re looking for other ways to share your love of reading and  bring your favorite books to life, then check out this list of book club ideas to try:


Book Reading for Charity

Sharing your love for books doesn’t have to stop within your circle. Reading your favorite books to young kids for a charity or fundraising event is a great way to encourage reading in the younger generation. If your club has the funds, you can even leave a copy of the book for the kids to read through once your activity is over!


Literary Parties

Who says bookworms can’t party? Combine literary fun and socialization with a literary-themed soiree that’s bound to tickle the imagination of book readers. Create a menu that’s based on the book and maybe even dress up as your favorite characters for added inspiration and whimsy for the night.


Literary Trivia Nights

What better way to flex your literary muscles than a trivia night? Crown the biggest bookworm in an exciting match that lets you showcase your book knowledge. For an added bonus, the winner gets to take home a new book for their reading collection.


Expand Your Book List and Your Social Circle!

Reading might not be on top of the list of your social activities, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone! Joining a book club just might be the push that you need to get started on that reading pile or the nudge that encourages you to make more friends. Whether you need a little encouragement to finish a book or a friend to discuss your book theories with, a book club has you covered.