If you don't have time to join a traditional book club, have you considered joining an online one?
In a busy world, the internet or modern online technologies has made it even easier for busy readers to join a book club. The number of online book clubs or sites that offer readers another option to belonging or taking part in a traditional face to face club has been steadily increasing in the past couple of years. They offer keen readers a way of belonging to a book club without the demands of finishing the nominated book in time, or finding time in already busy schedules to attend or host regular meetings.
Many don't follow a traditional set meeting format, so if you don’t ‘show up’ or haven’t read the book or books nominated, no one will know.
As with traditional book clubs, it is important to research the online clubs just as diligently to find the one that will work best for you. Like their traditional face to face counterparts, many of the clubs online also focus on particular genres or authors.
However, if you are keen to challenge your current reading habits and to try something new, look for a club that suggests a range of books and genres each month. Some for example, focus on books written by self-published writers, an area of publishing that is growing rapidly, but has a somewhat ill-deserved reputation for poor storytelling, spelling and grammar. This club focuses on finding those writers with potential and the many good self-published stories that are now available.
To ensure that you ‘sign up’ or ‘follow’ the right club for you, it is a good idea to visit the club site and check out:
- The types of books they have recommended in the past? Are most of their recommendations available in print or digital formats, or both?
- Do they have any requirements or expectations of their members?
- Is it a member only site, or can you simply visit their site to view their current recommended book or books? How often do they change their recommended reading list?
- Is there a membership fee?
- Is it actually a book club that welcomes reader input, or is it a review site that is more focused on telling you what they thought of the story rather than inviting your comments and feedback?
As the sites are online, you can figuratively ‘try before you buy’ or commit. No awkward first meetings where you have to decide if you want to join and if you opt for one of the clubs that offers a range to titles to suit multiple tastes, no reading books that you aren’t interested in.
Your fellow book club members can be located anywhere in the world, so you could be sharing your thoughts and comments with readers from other countries and cultures which can potentially give you access to entirely different perspectives on a story.