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Joining a Book Club
by Renuka

During the summers of my childhood,  my sister and I would go to the public library and take out twenty-five books each (the limit per cardholder) and read and read and read! When we would finish reading all the books, we’d go back to return them, and then take out another twenty-five each. We would easily read 50 – 75 books each summer.  As I grew older, most of my reading time was spent with textbooks, which are not nearly as fun to read. Recently, I’ve become crazy about reading for pleasure again.

Last fall, my best friend Heather mentioned to me that she had been reading a gripping novel  for her book club. She suggested I join her club, and before I knew it, I was back into the world of reading. I enjoyed it so much that I joined a second book club last month!

A book club is very easy to run. All you need to get started is a few people who like reading – they could be your friends, relatives, neighbours, or classmates – and a library card. Here are some of things I’ve learned about being in a book club.

•    Most book clubs meet monthly. Of course, you can meet more or less often to suit the needs of the members. The selection that members will read each month can be decided by voting on books suggested by members or by having members take turns choosing the book of the month.

•    Meetings can be as formal or as casual as you like. In both of the book clubs I’ve joined, we take turns hosting. Some members like to host in their own homes while others prefer a public or outdoor location such as a library or a park. Everybody brings some food, and we share a pot luck brunch, lunch, or dinner while we chat about the book. One member usually prints a list of discussion questions for our book from the Internet and brings it along to guide our discussions.

•    Many public libraries offer “Book Club Kits”. These kits contain 10 copies of the book, a list of discussion topics or questions, and information about the author. They can be signed out for six weeks. Some libraries have hundreds of different Book Club Kits available.

Book clubs are a great way to motivate yourself to read more, think more about what you read, and maybe even try reading some books of a genre that you don’t normally choose. They provide the  opportunity to share your ideas, socialize with other book lovers, and make some new friends.

 (June 10, 2012)

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