What Is a Book Club?
“A book club is a reading group, usually consisting of a number of people who read and talk about books based on a topic or an agreed-upon reading list. It's common for book clubs to choose a specific book to read and discuss at the same time. Formal book clubs meet on a regular basis at a set location. Most book clubs meet monthly in order to give members time to read the next book. Book clubs can be focused on literary critique or on less academic topics. Some book clubs are focused on a certain genre, such as romance or horror. There are even book clubs dedicated to a particular author or series. Whatever reading material you prefer, if you can't find a book club for it why not think about starting your own?” (ThoughtCo)
This all sounds very civilised and inoffensive but my book club could be deemed the complete opposite and has been responsible for, to name but a few incidents;
- A replacement stained glass window. Having been locked out following a rather extended book club gathering a practical approach was needed and the glass panels were dismissed in order to gain entry.
- The venue running out of wine stocks. Wine reserved for an event the following night had been consumed 24 hours too early courtesy of Book Club.
- Dismissal/ resignation. The result of a particularly high octave evening the membership numbers depleted.
Do we read the book ? Yes. Do we discuss the book for long ? No. Do we get much out of the Book Club ? A lot !
In general terms there are many positives to come out of these clubs
- Good for the brain – reading can help strengthen the structure of the brain and helps with skills such as empathy.
- Community – bringing people together who would otherwise not socialise together and share different prospectus’ on life and help to expand your views perhaps even becoming more tolerant
- Time to reflect – a book choice can open up discussions on social issues which are better expressed through fiction than via an item in a newspaper where the subject is brought closer to reality.
- Sociable – perhaps the most important is the social aspect of bringing friends together on a regular basis. In some cases the clubs can be too sociable but from a well being factor there is nothing negative that one can see, which makes me wonder why, the general, these clubs tend to be mainly women and the question arises as to why men are not members.
Some might say that men don’t join because they do not like to talk about what they read and are not as verbal as women but it could be more scientific and according to the Book of Man 30% of men stop reading after education so getting young men to read is for a publisher the jewel in the crown as they drop reading as soon as the necessity is taken away with schooling.
The rationale could be that popular fiction does not deal with the reality of men’s lives reasoning is that compared to those for women but the key to the importance of reading is not gender specific and that reading does help with general well being and can help with mental health and anxiety problems.
It seems that things are improving and new books are appearing to help encourage men back to the book. Men are realising that they too can read books and are beginning to lead the way with a boom in Audio Books Men in their twenties and thirties are driving a boom in audiobooks according to new research -audiobook sales have double in the past five years and rose 17 % last year, according to Nielsen Bookscan, and now account for 5% of UK consumer book spending. You don’t have to hold a book to read so the excuse of carrying a cumbersome tome is no longer an excuse.
Become a Bookie you won't regret it..........