Book clubs and reading groups number in the thousands and they keep growing. Whether participants meet online or in person, reading groups provide an opportunity for intellectual stimulation and social interaction. Reading is typically a solitary activity, but reading groups add a social element that enhances the reading experience. In the company of other like-minded people, one can share information and exchange ideas and opinions. It’s a kind of continuing education that aids in personal development.
There are many publications devoted to recommending books for reading groups. One of my favorites is Reading Group Choices. It’s published annually and the 2015 edition lists over 50 book recommendations along with discussion questions. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, through her book club, have greatly influenced what and how people read. Her list of recommended titles is always highly anticipated.
As regular consumers of books, the impact of reading groups on a book’s success is now starting to be recognized, as this article by Nichole Bernier in The Millions describes. Authors are becoming increasingly accessible by visiting with reading groups in person or via Skype to discuss their books and answers questions.
Thinking of joining a reading group? Check your local bookstore, library or join a Meetup group that fits what you’re looking for.