Do you ever have the feeling after you’ve read an incredible book you just want to share it with the whole world? Yes, me too! Especially if that story was set in a place in the world I’ve never been to before. Why is that?
I think you can compare it with going on vacation. When I come back I want to share my adventures and show everyone the pictures I’ve taken.
It’s even more fun when I talk to someone who’s been in that same place as I just returned from. We can talk about the beautiful view from that mountain top or how good the little tart was at that cozy cafe downtown. My memories and experiences get even more colorful and it just makes me happy!
It’s the same when I finish a book. Having nobody to talk about the book can give a pretty lonely feeling. Even if the book isn’t what I’ve expected it to be. And when it’s having a weird ending? Oh man, then I really want to talk about it, lol!
Sometimes I ask around to find out if any of my family or friends have read the book. But that’s not always the case. I read a lot of books, you know, and people can’t always keep up. I do have an Instagram account where I post my readings and try to connect with my followers. But somehow that still feels a little distant.
Join an online book club
What I crave is people like myself. I love to talk about books and what better way to do that than to join a book club. And, even better, an online or virtual book club.
I found that an online book club is the place for me. And here’s why I prefer the virtual book club over an in-person book club…
The benefits of a virtual book club
- It’s a safe way to meet other book lovers. Especially nowadays with the pandemic still happening
- You never have to leave your home. You can participate from wherever you live.
- There is undoubtedly a community online that is right for you regarding your schedule. Fit your meeting time around your work or family life schedule.
- Not having to drive to an in-person meeting saves you time which you can then dedicate to reading!
- It saves you money as well. When going to an in-person meeting you tend to buy a cup of coffee and something to eat. Even when you get together at someone’s home, you want to contribute to the food and drinks. Attending a virtual book club meeting, there are no expectations to bring anything.
- Meeting online has the advantage of interacting with more people, in a safe way. No more crowded rooms or not being able to join because of a limited member count.
- With more people come more rich conversations and diverse opinions & thoughts. Especially if people from around the world are in the online book club.
- Virtual book clubs have international potential. How fun is it to discuss a book with someone from a country in Europe or Asia? The views from people with a different culture can be so interesting
Connecting with a new community
Joining an online book club brings even more to the table. You get to connect with a new community full of people like yourself! I always love to hear other people’s stories. About the books they’ve read and which places they visited on their travels. Also now that traveling is a challenge because of the pandemic going on, people are traveling through their books bringing the two together. The best of both worlds, if you ask me.
Getting together with other people who share the same interest as you and socializing with people who share your passion is good for your mental health as well. Even if you’re an introvert like me, you likely want to connect with others one way or the other. And as I pointed out before, you can do that from the comfort of your own home.
A variety of voices
With community comes a variety of voices. Every individual has their own thoughts and opinions about the story in a book. Why the characters did what they did, and how it would be different if they chose another way or solution to the problem they faced.
All those thoughts and opinions can trigger your own. It’s so much fun to hear the different perceptions every book club member brings into the conversation. I often think to myself, “wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way” when talking to someone else about the book we both read.
Dive deeper into your favorite genres
There are a lot of different kinds of book clubs, online and in person. The key is to find the one that suits you best. There are book clubs that gear toward genres for example. Or the heaviness of the read.
When you find the right one for you and it’s one that is dedicated to a certain genre that you love, you will even enjoy the meetings and discussions between yourself and your fellow members more.
In my online book club, we read books with either a happy or at least hopeful ending, not too heavy, and we try to alternate between romance, historical fiction, and cozy mysteries. That is what’s attracting the right members for my book club. I can tell from the vivid conversations we have, that each and everyone is enjoying themselves!
Joining celebrity book clubs
If you love to read and are curious as to what the celebrities have on their nightstand, you can join a celebrity book club. People like Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, and Emma Roberts are a few names in the book club world. You get to connect with actors, musicians, and show hosts in a totally different manner. How cool is that?!
An inspiration to write yourself
I have a little confession to make. I’m writing my own book, eeekk!! When you read as much as I do, you might be tempted to write your own story. Inspiration comes in all shapes, forms, and situations. In all the author interviews I’ve done, I’ve heard each author share how they have been inspired for their books. I love that everyone’s inspiration is unique to them and how they write. Travel has been the inspiration for some authors. Or maybe listening to stories from readers about their parents or children. Or even reality television.
Meeting all the authors I have and reading as much as I have has inspired me to try writing my own story. I even met with an author friend who encouraged me to join a local writer group. Being in a community really helps both readers and writers.
Not sure if it will ever get published, but you never know, right?!
Discover new books and insights
Joining an online book club can also bring new books to your attention. I love it when people tell me about the books they’ve read or are reading. As you can imagine my to-be-read list is loooong, lol!
Sometimes, I also wanna try a different genre. Especially when I’ve read a couple of books back to back in the same genre, it’s time to shake things up a bit. Having people from my book club pointing out something completely different is refreshing. And talking about it later with them makes it so much fun.
Staying accountable to your reading goals
Do you set a reading goal at the beginning of the year? It doesn’t have to be huge. A member of my own virtual book club has set a reading goal of one book a month, so 12 books for the year. Our book club is perfect for her because we have a Book of the Month just for readers who only want to read one book. Oh, and there’s a companion book as well, but that’s an extra for the members who want to read more and have a bigger goal.
Joining our book club brought books back into her life, she said. Before all she did was read to her kids, but she wanted to bring some adult fiction back into her free time and needed to have some accountability.
Adding to the accountability part of joining a book club is writing down and documenting what you’ve read throughout the year. The members of my online book club all get the Read The World Planner when joining.
Meeting authors and guest speakers
Another fun fact of joining an online book club is the opportunity to potentially meet authors. Maybe other book clubs offer this too. My own Literary Escape Book Club offers our members a meeting with the author of the book of the month.
We all get on Zoom, since it’s a virtual book club, and listen to the author share about their book, what their inspiration was behind the story, and how they researched the setting of the book by traveling to that destination. It is so much fun to hear the enthusiasm in their voices. Our members get to submit questions they want to ask the author too. So it’s a real conversation between the reader and the author.
The beauty of it all again, we have authors and members join from all over the world. Being in the US myself, I get to sit down and talk with authors who live in the UK and share our talk with my members who are in Norway and the Netherlands among other countries. How awesome is that?!
Some virtual book clubs also invite guest speakers. I would love to talk to experts on writing, how a plot is woven together, or what books they recommend.
In conclusion, the purpose of joining a virtual book club
We’ve looked at all the benefits of joining a virtual book club. Let’s recap:
- It’s safe to meet other readers
- You don’t have to leave your home
- It saves you time and money
- You can interact with more people because of bigger groups
- Brings you rich conversations with people from all around the world
- Connect with people who have the same passion
- Dive deeper in your favorite genres
- Get a feel for other genres
- Meet and talk to celebrities and authors
- Get inspired to write your own story
- Stay accountable for your reading goals
- And to just have fun!!
If you think to yourself, “heck yeah, I want to join a fun, exciting, and engaging book club”, I would like to invite you to read more about my Literary Escape Society Book Club. And if you have any questions, please contact me.
Becki is the author and founder of A Book Lover’s Adventures. She has a degree in elementary education, has worked and volunteered in libraries for years, and spent several years in the travel industry. All of this has led to a love of books and travel. Becki loves to share her love by finding literary escapes to share!