Essay

Why You Should Join a Book Club

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In today’s time with so much going on in your life, what with your career, your business, the kids, the cooking as well as the laundry, it sure becomes a challenge to pick up that book lying on the shelf for months. In contrast, if you are a passionate reader you will always find yourself on the lookout for another book nerd to discuss the latest book you read but with little success.

This is where a book club fills that gap because once you join one you will be cornered to prioritize your reading time. You will find yourself mentally booking that time – maybe just after the lunch break when you need to unwind or maybe a few minutes before you hit the bed.

Reading becomes a goal and you feel a sense of achievement when you tick it off on your daily to-do list or maybe four times a week. This commitment to keeping up with the other members of your book club deepens and makes you more disciplined about your reading habits.

Your reading experience is enriched as you explore different genres while your mind opens up to new perspectives. You might be a vampire buff, but you will have to mentally plow through Anna Karenina, or you have a penchant for romance novels, but you will find yourself exploring a sci-fi fiction. You might find yourself reading that classic that you could never make time for or your reading buddy will keep you motivated over a lengthy and demanding Ayn Rand. You will gain more insight when you are exposed widely to an interesting cross-section of discussions from people of different backgrounds.

As we leave school or university and start our lives as homemakers, self-employed or business owners, meeting new people becomes a challenge –especially the ones with same interests. But with book clubs not only do you get to meet new people, communication becomes easier as you talk about something you are passionate about, listen to each other’s thoughts and opinions. It gives you a break from the usual routine as you meet members at their homes or at a favorite restaurant. You tend to become socially active and adept as you meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. You grow as a human being and mature emotionally, thereby enhancing your mental and spiritual health. Meetings at a regular interval coupled with shared chit-chats and laughter over a cup of tea or snacks help foster that bond among the members.

You may be usually shy at making friends, especially at gatherings like clubs and parties. Book clubs make it easy to break the ice as you will find yourself easily discussing topics that you love and are so knowledgeable about.

You are intellectually stimulated and find your adrenalin flowing as you get involved in debates and riveting discussions. This creative outlet for your thoughts will make you feel nurtured through mind and body. You will be contemplating about deeper issues brought to the table by different members. You will be exposed to critical thinking and be debating the finer points about society and the world at large which you would never have thought of while doing the daily chores or stressing out over business meetings.

Your vocabulary is enriched, and your public speaking skills are enhanced as you put your views across a group. At first, your confidence may be shaky as you put your opinions across the table. Spontaneity might be lacking as you put in a lot of thought or hesitate, but with practice, you tend to get better. So also you get to learn by observing others who are skilled on this platform. You know when to avoid a faux pas or some socially unexpected behavior like pushing your opinion across the table and cutting other members even before they complete their say.

You have the freedom of expression and can honestly voice your thoughts to an audience who are open to listening to a difference of opinion. These kinds of experiences are psychologically positive and self-revelatory. It liberates your mind and heart while at the same time abates the stress of the daily grind.

 

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Pratibha R DH

Pratibha R DH is a novelist and has authored children books, fantasy and paranormal crime novels. Her latest release is a paranormal crime thriller: Child of Paradise (Listen to your dreams).

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