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.

Non-Traditional Book Clubs

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.

Different Books 

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.

Book Trade  

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!

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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!