Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Clubs Still Gangbusters

In an era when a certain demographic fears the end of the book is near, aspects of reading and book-loving have never been more popular. Take, for example, the book club. Once upon a time only the literati and the socially elite and pretentious would have a go at anything as erudite as a book club. These days, it’s a fairly normal pastime, a community activity in a world with room for too few of them. From the UK’s Daily Mail:
While binge drinking and Facebook have become the social activities of choice for a generation of young people, thousands of British women of a certain age have embraced the Book Group as the new rock ’n’ roll.
British journalist, Mandy Appleyard, breaks down the formula from a girl-in-the-street perspective:
And the Book Group is entertaining. It is the only gathering I know where, in one short evening, you can go from chick lit to the classics, from the state of someone’s marriage to someone else’s divorce, from idle gossip about a naughty neighbour to analytical discourse about post-colonial literature.

It’s a simple enough formula, a bit like a latter-day Tupperware party except that it’s about the written word instead of storage tubs.
A different approach, but the same big picture, last year in The Huffington Post Delia Lloyd offered up “Five Reasons To Join A Book Club.” The reasons would still work today.

Want to start your own book club? The Book Club Cookbook is a well established starting point. Real Simple magazine offers a “Start a Book Club” checklist.


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