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how to join a book club

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Not Your Mother’s Book Club: All-Things-Book-Discussion at the Library

Book clubs: What images do those two words conjure up for you? Ladies sipping tea and trading favorite lines from Jane Austen, right? Or a group of suburban moms huddled around adult beverages with the latest chick lit offering? Or maybe a conversation that’s a little too academic, with participants bandying around literary terms like “foreshadowing” and “malapropism” and overanalyzing every paragraph. Certainly these images are true for some groups, but don’t think that book discussion is an activity limited to any certain demographic or that you had to have majored in English to take part.     Reading and discussing a book with others is something that everyone can enjoy, and the benefits are enormous: Book groups broaden your reading horizons. You will read quite a number of books you normally wouldn’t give a second glance. Yes, you’ll probably dislike some of them (I’m looking at you, Never Let Me Go and The Night Circus), but you will also enjoy a lot of them. Some of the books that you never imagined yourself reading will become your absolute favorites (Now I’m looking at you, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and O Pioneers!). They’ll also broaden your worldview. You will learn about other cultures and perhaps gain different perspectives from your group members’ points-of-view. You get to meet new people – and sometimes establish long term friendships with your group members. (And if nothing else, sometimes you’ll find someone to snark along with you about a particularly terrible protagonist or plot.) Your communication skills will improve because you’ll be listening to other people talk about the books you read together. And with all those books, your reading comprehension skills will be sharpened as well. At the [...]