Tag: book clubs

Thoughts on Book Clubs

Posted June 27, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 6 Comments

I am not sure if you have noticed but I love books and I love talking about them to excess. I think my wife tends to get sick of my talking about books so I’m lucky to have a book blog where I can focus most of my bookish energy. If my book blog isn’t enough and I still need to talk about books, I often turn to social media. Also there is one other avenue that I use to satisfy my bookish obsessions and that is book clubs.

Now I have an addiction to the book clubs on Goodreads, I’m involved in a few of them but some how ended up being moderators for all of them. Most of them I started because I felt there was a gap in the wide range of Goodreads book clubs that needed to be filled. I would be happy if someone took over as moderator but I’m also happy to be a part of any Goodreads book club that is doing something unique. My primary focus on Goodreads is obviously the Literary Exploration book club, where we get a chance to read from different genres every month. This is the only book club I feel I have to read the book assigned every month.

However I’m also apart of a book club hosted by my local indie bookstore, I love the real life element of this book club. I know this may surprise people, the socially awkward introvert enjoying being out in public but I do all right if I talk about books. I like that the bookstore tends to pick books I don’t know about or had not thought about reading. As a literary explorer this book club has really pushed me into books out of my comfort zone. This has an added bonus; I love being the person that has a different opinion to everyone else. More often than not I’m the one that loves or hates a book while others think differently; I’m not always alone but I like that my opinion is different.

I enjoy hating a book almost as much as liking a book, I just love books and it doesn’t matter my opinion of the book. I find it freeing to write negative reviews and talking about what is wrong with a book. Almost to a point where the idea of a bitchy book club was talked about on social media, a place were people talk about the flaws of a book rather than what they liked about the book. This idea never took off; I doubt there are many people interested in this approach to a book club but I think it would of being fun.

There are negatives about book clubs as well but nothing to dramatic. I personally would love to see more critical thought put into a book when it comes to book clubs. Goodreads book clubs tend to be very basic and there is never any in depth analysis to the books being read. I would love to find a book club that explores literature in great detail; I am still trying to learn how to read critically and I think a place that can help develop these skills would do me a world of good. I have ideas for a club like this but I lack the skills, I’m a novice and I think that makes me wrong for the job.

I digress and need to get back on topic; I use book clubs as an avenue to feed my bookish obsessions but also to help develop my skills. I mentioned that I’m a socially awkward introvert and going to a book club that meets in real life has helped me communicate my bookish love. When I first started I was quiet and didn’t say much but the more I go, the better I have become at talking about books, expressing my opinions about the books. This has been a huge help, not only socially but I think it has had a positive effect on blogging too. I can talk about books with ease online but this book club has helped me develop different ways at looking at a book. I think other people’s opinions on books can be an asset in developing your own skills.

Now I want to ask the readers about book clubs, do they go to a book club, what works and doesn’t work, and anything else you wish to say on the topic. I am particularly interested in ways to find develop my critical reading skills, I know practise makes perfect but I would love to find a way that both nurtures and pushes me. Goodreads doesn’t seem to have that, or I haven’t found it there, so I wrote this post as a way to ask the question and talk about book clubs in general.