Spotlight: Book Clubs

Book Clubs: Find Your Niche Even in the Big City by Courtney McNamara

Sometimes when rushing from work, to class, to grabbing drinks with friends and trying to squeeze that half-hour work out in; it’s hard to imagine some time to just sit down and talk about a good book.  Sure, there is often a decent amount of time to read when catching a few minutes alone – on the subway, before you go to sleep, or even on your invaluable and oh-too-short lunch break.

But when was the last time you discussed what you were reading with a friend?  Besides a casual recommendation, or a reference to an upcoming movie (anybody heard of The Hunger Games?) most of us lack an outlet to discuss our ups, downs, heartaches, joys and frustrations we encounter when we read  books. Outside of the tight-knit college community, it seems like an unnatural group for a twenty-something to seek, the book club.  But when my colleague suggested we start one meeting once a month, I had to stop and think why hadn’t I thought of that?

The term “book club” can often elicit visions of older women huddled around on uncomfortable couches, sipping tea and chatting about the latest novel for women they all felt they had to read.  Or, perhaps it brings to mind intellectual hipsters in a poorly lit coffee shop trying to pull philosophy out of places typical citizens just couldn’t understand.  However, when I considered the idea of a book club among friends and acquaintances just seeking discussion about a common read, without aim or motive, I became excited.  There was no pressure to prove a point such as being in a classroom, no limit on where the conversation could go.  And the best part was the possibility of discovering books that I might have otherwise steered away from reading.

After being inspired by my friend’s idea, I began researching other possibilities.  As it turns out, the internet isn’t just a breeding ground for awkward dating- you can find groups of people looking to actually hear what you have to say about what you’re reading.  I began to browse the book club section of meetup.com and found everything from Christian book clubs, to “girly” book clubs, and even non-genre specific choices just meant to pick books that make you think.

So if you are like me and were naïve to the options available in almost any major city to break the cycle of typical social gatherings, fear not.  Get out there and share your thoughts on what you’re reading, because you only get 140 characters on Twitter.

Try http://bookclub.meetup.com/cities/us/ny/new_york/ to explore some of the exciting options in the Big Apple! Email us what your book club is reading. We will highlight a few to get the word out. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

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