Kindred Spirits

Finding people who share the love of reading is a marvelous thing. You might want to discuss or debate on certain ideologies and concepts you have both found in your reading materials. The more people you meet and the more diverse their personalities, the more of the world you will actually experience and understand.

Book Clubs

Joining a book club amplifies this experience. This is where book-lovers gather to discuss what they have read about so that they can share a unique world they have caught a glimpse of with everyone who wants to listen. While there are some people who welcome this gathering as a productive opportunity, there are still those who might shun gathering and meeting up with strangers. I know some book-lovers who tend to enjoy their readings in private and who are uncomfortable in social gatherings.

To help you decide on whether to join or not to join in a book club, the following are some perks of being an actual member of such group.

Meet New People

When you join a book club, you get to be with other people other than yourself. You have a chance to mingle with other people who enjoy the same worthwhile hobby as you do. In meeting with the different members of the club, you get to be exposed on the diversity of personalities and their unique characteristics. You will be surprised to get some fresh and interesting insights regarding topics you have only read about that some people do know about like the back of their hand. You also get to share your personality with the other members and you can take part in theirs. Your view of the world widens as you encounter different people.

Read New Material

We all have preferences or tastes. These preferences influence us in what we like and enjoy reading about. This makes us susceptible to isolation because of our own biases. Being an active member of a book club can address this concern. Members share their reading material with the group and gives out key points about the book that definitely made them appreciate it better. You have a chance to be informed and convinced of new topics to read about that can eventually help you become closer to your personal goal of improvement or understanding.

Discuss Ideas

There are some suggestive books that may need more than a single mind in order to be appreciated. Book club members can raise a specific title that they would like to be discussed within the group. The more members who participate in the topic, the more viewpoints and insights you will be aware of. This oftentimes leads to a better understanding of a material that may have not made an impact on you but have done so after participating or listening in a lively and active discussion on the matter.

Bond with Fellow Readers

Man is a social animal. Whatever our personalities are, it is inevitable that almost every one of us actually depend on someone else for our survival. Sometimes, you might just want to chat with fellow book club members just about anything under the sun. This way, you are exchanging ideas freely and at the same time develop a healthier disposition and outlook in life. Rather than to always be alone and reading, it may be better to read and chat with those who you feel connected with.

Just try it out for yourself. Choose a book club near your home or your workplace and be surprised about the variety of minds you have yet to be aware about and learn from. This may prove to be a stepping stone for a whole new reading experience.

Book Club Discussions

Leading a book club discussion can be quite a daunting task for some members. Their intentions are genuine and they picture in their minds what their appointed discussion would look and feel like. But when it comes to the actual facilitating, the mind boggles and the voice stutters. This is a common stage fright scenario.

It is important to remain calm. It is best not to let the group become overly aware of your intense nervousness or else the whole session may become a total bore. To help you in the flow of the discussion which you will facilitate, the following are some generic questions for your book club

How did you experience reading the book?

What were you feeling through the first few paragraphs of the book? How about the first few chapters? Did you like the way the book spoke to you regarding its story? Why or why not? Ask your members how they actually felt while reading the book. Let them detail the experience as vividly as they could. This actually adds to the appreciation of the reading material, by letting other people relay how they experienced the book.

Do the characters make sense?

Ask them how they saw the characters. Making sense does not mean they follow a logical manner. This only means whether the characters come out as convincing as possible based on how the author introduced and represented their roles and personality. Do they play their roles effectively?

Who are your favorite characters and why?

Who are your favorites? How about your least liked? Let them describe in detail why they felt that way regarding the different characters. Was it due to their personality? Or maybe because of the way the character treats others around him? How did they affect the whole story?

What are the motives of a specific character?

This question lets the readers stand on the shoes of the character and see the world through their eyes. This also lets you on the insights and vulnerabilities of the character as well as the reader.

How was the character growth?

The character development is largely noticeable within the course of a long story or a novel. For short stories, this may be manifested through a change of a principle or a definite acceptance of a circumstance. Let them discuss how that change can be related in reality.

What is the plot all about?

Is the plot a conflict between the main characters? Or is it an internal conflict that is purely psychological or emotional? Why do you think the plot makes sense? Why not?

How did the plot drive the book?

This largely depends on the actual experience of the reader. Some are more sensitive to plot development while others take more time to catch up to the situation. This allows members to view the plot as a major component of the book through different perspectives.

How did the plot progress?

Did the plot get so twisted before the last chapters that the actual ending seemed to be forced? Or did it develop so well that everything made sense in the end? What did you like about the progress and why?

What can you say about the ending?

Was the ending the way you wanted it to finish? Why not? What would you have done different if you were the author? Would you have preferred a predictable ending or one which has numerous twists?

What points did the author want to come across?

What was the whole intention of the book? Was it a profound love for the homeland? Was it the indefatigable spirit of a survivor? What point struck you the most from the book as a whole?

Just always remember to relax and enjoy the session. Let the discussion unfold as you chime in a quick question in a timely fashion. Do not force ideas to come out nor stop them so that you could go on to the next topic. Bear in mind that we have different ways and perspectives regarding the things around us. Respect and try to understand others always.

How to Pick the Right Book Club for Your Kids

Childhood is the most crucial age for children. They love exploring and discovering things around them. They are attracted towards new things. Their minds seem more like a sponge which can absorb anything that comes their way. This is the reason why the development stage is considered to be crucial for children. This determines how the future of children would shape up to be once they grow into individuals ready to take on the world. It is vital to offer them opportunities that would turn out to be productive. One of the ways parents can engage their children is by exposing them to something that can benefit them from educational perspective. This is the reason why parents think that it would be a wise move to purchase books for children or consider enrolling them in book clubs where they get a chance to interact with other children in their age group. Enrolling children in book clubs is quite a serious activity for parents who want their children to utilize nothing but the best.

Plethora of options when it comes to book clubs

There are several book clubs available. Internet has also opened up options for connecting to book clubs. You need to verify the background of book clubs before enrolling your children on any forum on the Internet. Check feedback from members of the book club. This will give you a clear idea of the activities and how good the club is. You also need to take a look at the number of children who are a part of the book club. It would be a good idea to enroll if there are a lot of children who are a part of the club you are considering.

Check legitimacy of the club

It is vital to look into the legitimacy of the book club. This is because you would not want your children to be a part of a group that operates on a hidden agenda. The books being offered need to match with the taste and age of your children. You need to consider your children’s opinion as well while deciding which book club your children should be enrolled into. This is because they would be the ones who would be a part of the activities and the discussions of the group.

Monitor the activities of your children

Once enrolled, it is vital for you to periodically check the activities that your children are indulging in. You need to take a look at the books being read by your kids. This would let you know whether your children are gaining any kind of knowledge or enjoying their time with their friends and activities.

It is important to pick the right activities for your children as this would equip them to face the future courageously. Book clubs prove out to be helpful as they expose your kids to things beyond the classroom. Interacting with other children would help them improve their social interaction skills. It is not difficult to pick the right book club if you look into the requirements of your children.

Putting a Book Club Together

Once you have decided to put a book club together, it becomes crucial to know what steps should be followed to ensure that the book club turns out to be a success. What is important is to know when, what, where, why and who would be a part of the activities of your book club. You need to decide how often the members of the book club would meet. Generally, the members meet once a month. This offers them the time required to read a book and offer a fresh insight into their readings during the next meeting.

Kind of book club activities

You need to decide what kind of activities would be a part of your book club. Do you wish to have an informal meeting where you get to catch up with your friends, have a glass of wine and generally discuss about the kind of books that you read? Do you want the activities to be serious and wish to involve literary groups where analysis of plots, characters, motivations, symbolism, prose and theme is carried out? Do you wish to have something in between?

Who would be a part of your book club?

The people who would be invited to be a part of the group would be based on the kind of the book club that you intend to set up. Do you wish to have a reunion with students with a literature background or do you want it to be a meeting of mothers? You will have to look for individuals who are willing to make a commitment and take up turns when it comes to hosting.

Venue of meetings

You need to decide where the members of the book club would meet. You can set up a schedule and share it with the members so that they actively take up turns in hosting the meeting at their home. You can even consider meeting them over a meal for discussions. Having a discussion in a restaurant would become difficult if there are more than six members in your club. The only advantage of meeting at a restaurant is that you would not have to clean up or cook. However, having a meeting at home would ensure that people would be more relaxed during the meetings.

Figure out why you wish to run a book club

It is enjoyable to hang out with people who are like minded if you love to read. Is this the reason why you wish to come up with a book club? You get to expand your reach by reading a book and interacting with people who have read the same book. You get a fresh perspective of how people perceive something. This can help you be aware of things you may have overlooked. You get familiar with authors you never knew existed. You get to explore new genres which never made it into your shopping cart. You derive more from discussing books and authors when you are in a group. Time that is spent reading always offers you something. However, bringing in the element of social interaction stimulates you in some manner and keeps your mind sharp.

The Rise of Online Book Clubs

Online book clubs are steadily becoming a major trend in some parts of the world. Because of the technological advancements and the information revolution of the current era, the way book-lovers gather to appreciate and enjoy the titles and reading materials that they love is also influenced.

Instead of the traditional meetings in person with fellow book club members, people are now enjoying and discussing different ideas and concepts they have extracted from books with others on platforms that make use of the internet. Among these are video conferences, chat rooms and blogging. The question arises: which is better, a traditional or an online book club?

Traditional Vs Online

There are definitely benefits unique to each of these book clubs. To help us in getting a clearer view in this topic, let us analyze each using basic criteria.

Book Community

In traditional book clubs, members are highly limited to those who are near the so called headquarters. These are places where the members set meetings for their sessions. This limits the variety of personalities who can be a part of the discussions. Those who live or work far away have fewer options to mingle with other book-lovers.

In online book clubs, people from all over the world can gather in virtual chat rooms to participate. As long as the members are devoted to the appreciation and love of books, this makes the online book club a worthwhile endeavor.


In traditional book clubs, members meet personally with the group. Discussions are made face-to-face, ideas as well as emotions are shared with one another, and members can develop a sense of camaraderie that is visible. Unlike in online clubs, members only share their insights through a string of letters and sentences that may seem cold to the members. Although video conferences may make it seem that members are actually talking with another, there is still a sentimental factor which makes personal meetings more genuine.

Exchange of Ideas

There is also a certain barrier that keeps online members apart during discussions. The message is not received wholly by the other members. Unlike in traditional clubs, discussions are done face-to-face. The whole thought is delivered along with the emphasis of emotion. An emotional activity like the appreciation of a book is largely influenced by how feelings are delivered and received by the members.

Keeping Regular Sessions

Scheduling a book club session in the traditional way involves more effort from the organizer and the members. Aside from setting aside a particular time wherein all the members are free, they must also be physically present for them to participate. On the other hand, in online clubs, they schedule their session periods and they make sure of access to a stable internet connection and they can start their discussions immediately.

Each kind of book club has its own unique benefits. If you would like to a more intimate and personal book club experience, you can look for a traditional club within the vicinity of your home or work and join. If you would like convenience in the book discussions you would like to have, going online is a good way to go.

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.


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.


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.


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!

Quebec Crime Writers


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.


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!

7 Best Books to Start Your Book Club

If you’ve recently started a book club, you may be scratching your head wondering what book you should start with. Depending on the people who are in your book club, there are a few selections that are considered “big hits” in the book club world. Here they are:

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 

This is a great choice, especially if your readers are mostly female. This is about a book club, set during WWII. Villagers come together to ration their food, share books, and support one another through the rough years. Great read, fun tie into the nature of a book club.

  1. The Shack 

Is your book club part of a church or religious organization? Sticking to books that reflect your values may be a strong selling point to get more people involved. Check out The Shack, and discuss just how much you all love it. This is a great book for men and women, and would be a great way to start conversation.


  1. The Art of Racing in the Rain 

Did you meet some of your book club members at the dog park? Do you all have fur children? This is the best book since Marley and Me for people who love animals. Yes, bring tissues, but also enjoy a very unique and loving story that will be great to discuss while your dogs romp around in the background.

  1. The Book Thief

 This book is universal, whether young, middle-aged, old, man or woman. This is also a great book if you want to have a “family book club” that allows parents and school-aged children to discuss books together. Set in WWII, it opens the dialogue about a lot of things, including loss, the Holocaust, and death itself. Such a great book.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night 

If you’re hoping to draw more young teens and male readers into your book club, start with a book like this. About a young autistic boy who tries to solve the death of a neighbor’s dog, it is unique, incredibly visual, and an impressive read.


  1. To Kill a Mockingbird 

Even if people have read this before, talking about it in book club just brings about a different perspective. Stick to the classics for the first session, if you want, and discuss the themes that are thick in this Harper Lee classic. There are also tons of book club discussion guides online for this book, if you’re wondering where to start the conversation.

  1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time 

If you’re hoping to start a book club that is rife with cultural and worldly lessons, this is a great place to start. Don’t stick to the traditional, white suburban literature. Expand your horizons. Use this book to discuss the perils in the Middle East, and the need to improve education (especially for females) in such a restrictive culture.