For some of us, traditional book clubs just don’t fit our needs or lifestyle. Maybe you can’t meet up once a month, or maybe you don’t like the books that book clubs pick. Or maybe you just don’t like the people who are in book clubs. But if you still find yourself drawn to the idea of discussing a book with your peers, here are a few ideas for non-traditional book clubs that can help you get over the hump.
Instead of all reading the same book and purchasing ridiculous amounts of the book you’re only going to read once (or fighting for a copy at the local library), why not all read a different book? This way, you can bring your copy, your rundown of the plot, and your review of the story. Maybe someone in your book club will like what you’ve read, and ask to borrow your copy. Next time, you get your book back and you might borrow a book from someone else. This is also a great way to let people pick their own books so they keep coming back.
Have a ton of books you’ve already read? Bring a box to a book trade or book swap. Enjoy food and refreshments while you peruse other people’s selections, and take home a few new books. Then you can get together next month and do it all over again! This is a great way to share books you love without having to pick one and discuss it even if you hated it!
Blind Date With a Book
Have your friends and book club members wrap up a favorite book of their own in paper. On the paper, write or draw a little riddle about what the book is about, or just the general genre. Don’t be too specific because you don’t want to give away the book title! Have your fellow members choose a book based on their wrappings, and let them take them home before opening them. They have no idea what they’re going to get, but make sure they really do read them. Then, next month (or whenever you’re scheduled), have them return the books and discuss. You can do the blind date swap again, or just do it every other time. What a fun way to get someone to read a book they normally wouldn’t.
Online Book Clubs
There are tons of online book clubs, and while these may not be as personal or fun as in person book clubs, they get the job done. It’s especially nice because you can pick from more book clubs that have tastes similar to your own, so you’re not stuck reading the same chick lit over and over and over. Sites like Goodreads have tons of groups and monthly clubs you can join, as well as ways to review and share your books with other people. You can also find a ton more books that you would have overlooked at the book store or library!