The Power of Book Clubs

Hello to all you writers out there, this is Adair Heitmann writing to you today about the importance of book clubs. When you think of a book club, what do you picture? Blue-haired women with rolled down stockings conferring over coffee about the latest romance novel? Or do you shrivel in imagined pain, remembering an assigned book club from middle school? Or, are you a member of one now, a book club that defies stereotypes?

I’ve been a member of a family book club for several years. We read the classics (and would-be classics) as a family and now one of our members is a Freshman in college. She was in elementary school when we started.  We also have a new family book club member . . . in utero. Our book club is eclectic, opinionated, and passionate about books and reading. My advice to you is to find a book club that works for you. Or better yet, create one of your own. Hearing how others analyze the pros and cons of a book makes you a better writer.

Check list for finding the right book club:

1. Level of book club –  Is everyone a PhD in literature or barely out of high school? Consider your own strengths and weaknesses.

2. Genre – What does the book club read? Don’t join a best-sellers book club, if you only read esoteric memoirs, you won’t have fun.

3. Places to look – Ask everyone you know, and while you are at it check out the flyers and websites of libraries, churches, synagogues, book stores. You can even do an Internet search on book clubs in your area.

4. Consider the fit – While time and location are obvious considerations, a more important one is fit. Do you come home energized or drained? Psyched and talkative or wishing you never joined? You wouldn’t want to walk all day in NYC in uncomfortable shoes, why stay in a book club that’s too tight in the toes?

At the end of the day, after you’ve found or invented a book club that suits you, you’ll be the envy of your friends, co-workers and neighbors. But more importantly, you’ll be a better writer.

If anyone has helpful book club information to share here, in this blog, feel free to use the “Comment” section below.

Until next time, keep on writing.

Published in: on September 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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