Why Book Clubs Are A Great Thing
By: Melanie Kindrachuk
Are you in the mood to go clubbing? Book Clubbing, that is!
Why would you want to join a book club? That’s a question I hear often. So today I’ll share a few reasons why we at the Stratford Public Library think a book club is good for you!
Reading is good for your brain.
There are many studies that show reading is good for strengthening both the physical structure of the brain and social soft skills like intelligence and empathy. Why wouldn’t you want to benefit from regular reading?
Book clubs are sociable and prompt discussion with old or new friends.
Just hanging out and talking about your own lives in relation to the book you’re reading is healthy and enjoyable. Sometimes reading as a social activity can bridge differences of opinion and bring people together in new ways. “Companionship and intellectual stimulation—and thinking quickly during book club discussions—all of these things are very healthy,” said Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, in a recent study.
Reading things you might not have otherwise can expand your horizons.
In a book club, you can discover new books that you might have otherwise completely overlooked – you might find a new favourite this way. Or, you can encourage the other members of your club to read and discuss your own favourite book that you’ve been dying to talk about with somebody! Also, having a deadline to get a book done can help to get you going on your reading, even in our busy world. You just have to schedule in this reading!
Book clubs offer a way to reflect on our society today.
You can have healthy, respectful debates about something other than politics in a book club. And instead of dry reports, you can read juicy, exciting fiction that deals with social issues in complex ways. Hearing other readers’ perspectives on the same story might change your own ideas about what a book means.
Books and wine go well together.
This one is obvious! Snacks are also fun, especially when they’re thematic. A book club in Hamilton meets regularly and matches their books and refreshments each time. At the upcoming Appetite for Words Festival, chefs create a menu and wine pairing inspired by a book so attendees taste the words they’re reading.
Book clubs are fun!
All book clubs include some time to get to know the other members better. A book club can help you meet new people and make new friends, all in a relaxed atmosphere. They are a great addition to a social calendar, being a low key and relatively inexpensive activity. No matter how serious your book discussions are, just getting together and chatting on a regular basis can be fun!
Melanie Kindrachuk, a Public Service Librarian at the Stratford Public Library. She coordinates the Library’s book club program and specializes in Readers’ Advisory – matching up readers with the book they are looking for.
Are you part of a book club, or have you considered joining one?