Reading Non-Fiction With Your Book Club

For most people, book clubs are associated with the latest fiction bestseller, or even chick lit and books that make you want to cry your eyes out for days. While this may be what other people like, there are a couple of reasons why you should branch out and try reading something a little harder hitting. Here are a few reasons why you should read non-fiction with your book club.

Education 

While most of us read to be entertained, and that’s great, there is also a place for reading to educate us. When you read non-fiction with your book club, you’re essentially giving each other the chance to absorb new information, discuss it, and put what you’ve learned into practice. It’s also a unique way to learn about different cultures, peoples, and times that you wouldn’t have had access to prior. A book club should read non-fiction because it makes everyone smarter!

Expanding Horizons  

Nothing is more boring that reading the same type of book over and over for the rest of your life. What if you pick up a non-fiction book and it changes your life the same way a fiction novel did? What if you learn something about the person in your book club who recommended the book? What if you learn something that helps you help others? You’re going to have wider horizons and wider eyes when you read non-fiction, and your book club members will too.

 

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It’s Different 

Why follow the crowd? Just because all of the other book clubs you know of are reading Oprah’s latest pick doesn’t mean you have to. Swim upstream, go against the flow, and do something entirely different. Pick people who are not really mainstream, or who want to learn something new. You’ll stand out, and you’ll have more to offer to a discussion that isn’t about the latest vampire romance novel.

 

Clear Discussions  

Have you ever read a fiction novel with your book club and had about a bajillion different interpretations of the same event? With non-fiction, there is a lot less interpretation involved, and a lot more open discussion about the facts presented. While there is a ton to be said about the importance of interpreting fiction and symbolism, it’s nice to have a clear cut discussion that is based in fact and where everyone involved has the same resources.

Tons of Topics  

If you’re reading fiction, eventually you will notice trends in just about every book – a love triangle, an epic journey, a loss, a love, etc. While these books are all somewhat different in their own right, non-fiction presents a different story every single time. Even when you know the general topic, what you get out of non-fiction is more than “a moral to the story.” You’re getting a unique perspective of events as they actually occurred, and ways to apply those events in your own life. The non-fiction well never runs dry, and you’ll have plenty of topics to choose from.

Why Should You Join a Book Club?

Many people know that book clubs are popular, but so many people don’t engage with them. This could be simply because they don’t like reading, or it could be because they’re too busy, or it could be because they’re shy and don’t want to interact with new people. Whatever your reason for not participating in a book club, here are a few reasons why you should definitely join one now.

Amazing Books 

You think you have a lot of luck finding great books on your own, but odds are you stick to your favorite genre: mystery, romance, horror, young adult, whatever. In a book club, you may read a lot of the same types of books you love, but you’ll also branch out when people vote for different genres. Who knows? You may find a book that you love that you never would have picked up on your own.

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Amazing People 

There’s something about joining a club that makes it easier for people to really get along. You already have one thing in common (a love of books), and you can interact with each other on that premise alone. The funny thing about clubs is that once you’ve got that one thing in common, you find other things in common, and you grow very attached to people. Another aspect of book clubs is that the people involved often come from all walks of life, races, sexes, and backgrounds. You’re going to be meeting people that are totally different from you, and yet you’ve got this common thread. They’ll bring their unique style into their reading choices, and you can learn and grow alongside them. The people you meet in a book club might just become lifelong friends.

Carving Out Time  

You’re probably thinking, “I love reading, but I just don’t have time!” That may be true, but just like anything that is worth while, you have to make time. Carve out two hours once a month for yourself and your book club. You can schedule that in, I don’t care who you are or how busy you are. Even with kids, maybe you can work something out with the club where you all bring your kids and let them play together while you discuss books, or you can all pitch on a baby sitter to play with them for 2 hours. Either way, there are workarounds. Stop making excuses, and start making your book club a priority.

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Reading is Good for Your Health 

When you’re reading for a book club, you’re cutting out time for yourself on a daily or weekly basis to consume a new book. This act alone can improve happiness, actually help you manage your time (really), and can make you sleep better at night (unless you’re up all night reading). Studies show that people who read are less depressed, less prone to diseases like dementia and Alzheimers, and live much longer. So why risk it? Start reading!

6 Original Games to Play With Your Book Club

Are you bored by the traditional “sit and discuss” style of most book clubs? Is it hard to get the conversation flowing with new members who are shy? Why not break the ice with a few reading games? These games can also help you share more insight about what others took away from the books, and create an environment of playfulness that might be missing. After using these game tips, people will be tripping over themselves to sign up for your book club!

Word Association  

Take a chance to introduce yourselves, what you thought of the book, and then set a timer and try to have everyone in the group say one word that sums up the whole book. Make sure everyone has a different word, and that they don’t take more than their allotted time coming up with a word. Make it more difficult by having a list of banned words such as “happy,” “sad,” “romantic,” etc. You will laugh and learn new words!

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Charades 

Assuming everyone read the book, playing a game of Charades will be a fun way to see everyone’s interpretation of different scenes. Pick a few scenes that a person has to act out, and have everyone guess which scene it is. This gets especially hilarious if the book was somewhat sexual or sad in nature. Let the good times roll!

Sketch Artists 

Was there an especially handsome hero in the book? Or a gruesome monster? Give everyone a piece of paper and a pencil, and let them draw their interpretation of the descriptions. This is hilarious if no one is a trained artist, and can also show the many different mental interpretations we all have when reading a book. Prepare to laugh at everyone’s artistic abilities!

Story Creation 

Have everyone bring a copy of the book you read, and then randomly generate numbers (with an app or just using your good old fashioned brain). Start with one page, like Pg. 52. Have one person read the first word on that page. Then come up with a new page number, and have the next person read the next word. Sometimes this comes up gibberish, sometimes it creates a hilarious sentence. Either way, it’s fun.

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Dramatic Reenactments  

Pick a scene, and have your book club members act it out. This is especially funny if it’s a romance scene or a sad death scene. If you want to get really intricate, provide a few props and a couple glasses of wine. Make sure you turn on your video camera!

Plot Guessing  

This is fun if you’re a new book club and have yet to pick a book. Get to know people’s reading preferences by asking them to give a short synopsis of their favorite book plot. Have people guess which book it is, and whoever guesses the most plots right gets to select the first book, or at least contribute the first idea. This is game is super fun!