books

How to start a laid-back book club

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I love books and try to read as much as possible. I also love talking about certain types of books with other people, especially books about faith and spiritual growth, and now that EfM is over, I don’t get to do that as much as I used to.

Remember how my friend and I did a few Bible studies together? They’ve been very laid-back, low-commitment situations, which is perfect for the season of life we’re both in. Rather than having due dates for certain chapters and meeting to discuss, we both start the Bible study around the same time, then check in via text whenever we want. Once we’ve both finished the study, we try to get together for dinner to talk about it in person, but it doesn’t always happen.

And you know what? That is okay.

Maybe you’re in a similar season of life where you’d love to read something thought-provoking and have someone to talk about it with, but you can’t commit to a traditional book club. Here are a few ideas for starting something manageable:

One book, one friend
Start small! If there’s a book out there that really has your attention, consider your friends and who might be interested in the same book. Text that person a link to the book and ask if s/he’d want to read it with you. Make it clear that this isn’t an assignment, and give your friend a graceful way out, maybe saying something like, “Hey, I’m thinking about starting this book. It’ll probably take me 6 months or so to finish. If you have any interest in it, I’d love to read it at roughly the same time and text about it occasionally. If not, no worries! Just trying some new habits to up my reading.”

Ask an existing group
If you’re already in a small group, see if any other members of the group would be interested in reading something together. Chances are, you’ve all ended up in that group because you have at least one thing in common, so you’d probably be able to find a book that works for you all. My MOPS table just started reading the same book together, all because I posted a link on our Facebook group page asking if a book I was planning to read sounded good to anyone else. Easy, easy.

Online
It’s getting easier and easier to find online book clubs, either through author or publisher sites or via social media. Search for the title + book club or for a hashtag of the book’s title, and you’d be surprised what’s out there that’s already been organized by someone else. This is also a great way to select a book if you don’t already have one in mind.

What am I missing? I know there are other great ways to read together, likeĀ The Big Read, and probably so many more. Let me know your reading tips and tricks.

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