How Book Clubs Benefit Writers

 “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  

Stephen King

A Good Book and Cup of Tea

Photo credit: A Girl with Tea

Although I’ve always enjoyed reading, I didn’t always find time to read. After a friend asked me to join her book club, I wondered if I would be able to make time to read a book a month.

I usually write every day, but I am not so consistent with reading. Knowing I am accountable to read at least the current selection keeps me reading regularly. I typically finish right before the next meeting by reading a bit at a time (usually 15 − 30 minutes or so each day). I’ve also tried audiobooks which allows more flexibility when I am limited on time.

After a few novels, I realized that I could read a book a month and even find time for an additional book for that month. I also felt I was getting so much more out of this commitment.

Discussing books is wonderful because you get to see how others think and what appeals to them. Many times we don’t agree about what worked in the story, but I learn so much about what readers enjoy and seek out in their books.

When selecting books, we are lucky to have a local library that provides sets of 10 books per title specifically for book clubs. There is a long list of books we can choose from, and I enjoy getting a new book that is usually a title I would not have chosen. Variety is fun!

As a writer, I’m developing my communication skills as part of my book club experience. I’ve gained insight about craft and style, so I’ve been inspired to work on my own stories.

The book club members truly love reading and share their favorite books and authors. I’m never without a recommended list of books I am eager to read!

Have you ever thought about joining a book club? 

Are you in a book club now? 

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8 thoughts on “How Book Clubs Benefit Writers

    • That’s great you had a good experience with your book club, Emily! I hope you’re able to get into one again. I know it can be hard with varied schedules and more family responsibilities.

  1. I’ve always wanted to be in a book club, and even tried to start one once with a few friends in high school, but my problem isn’t trying to get through a book a month — it’s trying to ONLY read one book a month. I can’t be told, “Hey, read this book, then come talk to me about it next month” because I’ll read it, and then read five other books, and then not remember the original book. =\ Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it!

    That’s why I really like the book-y, review-y community on WordPress — I can talk to people about all the books I’ve read, the books I’m reading, and the books I plan to read — and it doesn’t have to be one book at a time 🙂

    • How awesome that you read so much, Bridget! I wonder if there are other book lovers in your area you could meet with once a week or every other week to discuss what you are reading. Maybe even swap books every meeting so that you can go back and forth with discussing novels and making further connections.

      I know what you mean about bloggers and books! Have you tried goodreads.com? You’d enjoy it!

      • I’m actually on Shelfari.com, which is basically the same idea 🙂 thanks for the recommendation though!

        I wish I could meet up with people around here on a weekly basis, but I’m usually pretty busy with work. Oh well, maybe one day!

  2. I love to read. I challenge myself to read at least 50 books a year. I’ve thought about joining a book club but I don’t think that I have the time for it. My sister who is a non-reader recently joined a book club and she seems to like it. Maybe one day when the rest of my children are out of the nest I’ll have time. I noticed your book mark I have the same one. I’m currently doubled-book. I’m reading “One Day” and “Chicken Justice”

    • 50 books a year is phenomenal! Sometimes it’s fun to chat with others about books. Blogging is a good way to do it if you just don’t have the time to meet with a group.

      I love learning about non-readers who begin getting excited about books. There are so many topics and great ones to choose from. I hope your sister sticks with it!

      I found this pic through flickr. 🙂 It’s cute! I’ve never heard of “One Day” or Chicken Justice,” but I’ll look them up. “The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” is our latest book club pick.

  3. Our local bookstore, which is awesome, has a book club that I joined. They definitely choose books that are different than I would pick. The discussions have been really interesting because there are people I don’t really know who attend.Tthey all have very different persepectives on the book because their backgrounds are so different. I am going to check out the websites that you mentioned.

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