“Reading brings us unknown friends”
– Honoré de Balzac
Last week, in my budget-friendly NYC blogpost, I jokingly quoted “Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.” – Charlaine Harris. Well, it is true, but that’s not one of the reasons why I think women should join a book club.
What are some benefits a book club can offer you? Well, how about the following:
A book club will make sure you broaden your horizon, you deepen your knowledge, you familiarise yourself with other cultures, you develop your communication skills, you work on your management and leadership skills and you will enjoy female friendships. Sounds pretty good, don’t you agree? Read on for more awesome advantages and some useful tips and links too.
You broaden and deepen your knowledge
Reading about many different subjects, themes and lives will expand your horizon. I am sure you can imagine that discussing your read with others will not only expand, but also deepen your knowledge and appreciation of what you have read. During these discussion you will become aware again and again that everyone’s view on a novel is coloured by their own lives and experiences. This is so super valuable. Not only will you learn more about the novels you read, you will also learn that the storyteller is always part of the story. This is something you and your environment will benefit from, inside and outside the book club.
You will read books you’d otherwise never would read
When you read books in a book club, you will not just read the ones you would pick for yourself (unless you are a very bossy type of course😉). This means that a book club will help you expand your reading. You may find out that you like more genres than you thought, just because your book club helps you discover them.
You learn a lot in a safe environment
Being part of a book club means you learn a lot in a relaxed way. You learn about different topics, you learn to express yourself, to formulate an opinion, to listen to others, to discuss. These are valuable lessons you can apply in all aspects of life and you learn them in a safe environment, amidst people you feel comfortable with and trust.
You will learn a lot about different cultures
Our world changes fast. Many of us live in multicultural environments and the internet brings the whole wide world on our screen and into our lives. Different cultures are definitely part of our lives nowadays and book clubs are a great way to learn about them. This can be thanks to the novels you read, but also through the members of your book club. Often you will find members with different backgrounds or even different nationalities in a book club. This will help you appreciate and understand others and you will develop a broader and more tolerant view on the world around you; something very valuable in today’s world.
You can practice leadership skills
When your book club rotates roles, such as who is leading the discussion, you will even practice, finetune and/or develop your leadership skills. How cool is that?!
You will develop friendships
Book clubs are a fantastic opportunity to meet and befriend new people and to embrace and nurture existing friendships. Since you will discuss so many subjects and themes in depth, these friendships will have or get an extra dimension. Female friendships are very important for women. Regular readers will know this from a previous blogpost.
When you are a new reader or when you’d like to read about it again, click on the following link: The importance of female friendships.
Book clubs are fun
Last but not least: book clubs are fun! Many book clubs combine good discussion evenings with enjoying great food and drinks as well (sometimes related to the novel – imagine discussing “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris). Other book clubs go and watch films together on top of discussing books. Let’s face it: not every partner wants to go and watch typical “women’s” films. Other book clubs are an excellent excuse to explore museums or go on city trips together. All of this adds to the fun of sharing your love for books!
Want to start right away?
I can imagine you’d like to join or start a book club after having read all the above. At the end of this blogpost you can find some useful links how to do so. In case you are looking for a first or new read, you may want to have a look at my blogpost about “The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes”. I have not only described the novel and why I love it so much, I have also added questions you can use for a discussion with your book club.
Because I value reading so much and know how much good it does, I have decided to discuss one novel each month, to keep you inspired to read regularly as well. In February I will review “PS I love you” by Cecelia Ahern (I think it is an apt novel for Valentine’s Day). You may of course also consider this novel as your first or next read.
Which novel can you recommend to read as a book club?
Thanks for reading my blog this week and enjoy more reading this weekend!
For those of you who want to start or join a book club and want some tips how to do so, have a look at these links. I am sure you can profit from them.
How to start a book club offers some basic guidelines. The following 5 steps to start a book club already offers more concrete ideas. The Book Riot website offers some great ideas how to find a book club, online or in real life.