There’s no doubt that we are living in challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven us into social isolation and got us social distancing in order to “flatten the curve” and as preventative measures.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a stack of books collecting dust that have been on your “must-read” list for quite some time. Those books were bought or lent with good intentions, but time hasn’t been sufficient to tackle that list – until now.

Granted, reading is something we all do on a regular basis; whether it is emails, text messages, the news or magazines. But finding the time to sit and enjoy a book can become difficult which is why a book club may be just the thing to get you started.

I know a lot of people who never really took the time to sit down and read a good book. But then they joined a book club – usually for the social aspect – and LOVED it! You don’t have to be an avid reader in order to enjoy being part of a book club.

Starting or joining a book club encourages you to start (and finish) a book, as well as gives you the opportunity to discuss, dissect, and share different opinions and viewpoints on the plot and characters. Even more motivating is that it is typically done over drinks and appetizers, rounding out the individual activity of reading with a fun group component.

*Note – in lieu of face-to-face book club meetings, why not pour yourself a drink, prepare an appetizer plate for yourself and contact your fellow book clubbers via a group chat using Whatsapp or Facetime, or any other video conferencing platform.

How to Start a Book Club

It doesn’t take much time or energy to get a book club going. All you have to do is:

  • Spread the word and get anywhere from 2 to 10 (or more!) people to join.
  • Decide if there is a genre of book you would like to focus on, and put together a list of prospective titles.
  • Online searches and book stores can help you create a reading list.
  • Choose the first book, create a monthly schedule and decide who will host each month.
  • Read the book and connect online at the end of the month. The host can come up with some discussion questions to keep the conversation going. Many books even include a list of questions at the end just for this purpose.
  • At the end of each video meeting decide on the book for the next month.
  • Plan for meetings to last about 2 hours.

Reading stimulates the mind, improves memory, boosts concentration, reduces stress, and feeds the imagination. Now combine these benefits with those of social interaction, and you’ve got a recipe for improved overall wellbeing.

To get you started, here is a link to Heather’s Book Club from Indigo where you can explore the plethora of book titles awaiting your inaugural book club.

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