Reading is no longer a solitary activity; if you love books and want to meet new people, join a book club and get social!Aside from the pleasure of sharing thoughts on a book youve enjoyed, theres the special pleasure of discovering new and different authors, rediscovering old favorites.or exploring a genre (mysteries anyone?)Book Club OptionsOnline book groups: Online book groups jumped into the spotlight during the Covid lockdowns.Readers avidly took to Zoom and realized the convenience.Online book groups are a godsend for anyone with mobility issues (No car? No problem!) and is a real convenience that saves energy and time as well.Senior Planets Book Club is a favorite for many people, who vote on a book, read the assigned chapters, and gather online once a week to discuss.

They just finished The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and will vote on the next book.Learn more here.Looking or a more freewheeling discussion? Senior Planet Community offers a Book Lovers Group as well.Local Book ClubsFor an in-person experience, its easy to find nearby clubs:Local libraries.Most host at least one book club and many big city library systems host several throughout their respective cities and post the information online.

Its easy to find the upcoming books for discussion, the location and meeting dates.Rose Mary OMalley belongs to three book clubs in her city.Besides the obvious reason (I love to read!) OMalley enjoys the socializing and discovering new authors.Bookstores.

National book chains like Barnes and Noble offer location finder to check out what their local B&N Club is reading now, plus author events and much more.Search here.Facebook and Meet-Up:Its easy to search for Book Clubs Near Me for listings.How Book Clubs WorkBook Selections: Book selection approaches vary.Library and book stores usually make the selections.

If the venue merely acts as a host, members make their own decisions.Some clubs read the hosts or organizers choices.Others are more democratic: everyone votes on the books to be read.Senior Planets virtual book club members vote on the upcoming choice.

Some groups allow each member to takes a turn picking the next book a decision that spares a lot of debate about what to read.While most book clubs read fiction, non-fiction or a mix, there are genres clubs for readers who particularly relish (for example):Biography and/or autobiographyHistorical novelsTrue crime, mystery, thrillersSpeculative fiction, including science fiction and fantasyLunch or dinner club groups.Many clubs make a meal of it.Sometimes its a bring-your-own sandwich or salad gathering.For others, its a social event over a late lunch or early dinner, in a restaurant or in a members home.For home meetings,hosting member (usuallya great cook!) prepares the main dish; memberscontributeappetizers, drinks (including wine), and desserts.Want to Launch a Book Club?If you cant find a nearby club, launch your own! Leslie Marks in Spring, Texas posted a Facebook invitation.

Within days, 17 people responded; the first restaurant meeting was scheduled within weeks of Marks posting.If you launch your own book club, try these tips:Keep meetings to the same day.Even if the month changes (monthly or every six or more weeks) dont jumble the day.A member of a club that fell apart in six months believes that the constant day and date change (to satisfy everyones busy schedules) prompted the demise.Take turns.

Most clubs enjoy free-wheeling, chime-in-as-you-please discussions.In others, each person takes an uninterrupted turn (about a minute or so) to say what he or she thought about the book followed by the discussion.Limit membership.Absent a strong discussion leader, six to eight members works well.

In a too-large group, theres a risk of two or three side discussions going on at the same time, defeating the larger purpose.Your turn:Tell us your favorite book club story! Let us know in the comments!Nona Aguilar is an award-winning writer of numerous magazine articles and two books.She has also edited four specialty business newsletter publications.Her work has appeared in Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Family Circle and Cosmopolitan, and in The Business Owner.

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