When was the last time you started reading a book and actually finished it?
Motherhood is a busy, never-ending world of diaper changing, toddler chasing, carpooling and homework checking. If you can’t remember the last time you finished a book that didn’t have a children’s title, it’s time to pause and come up for a little air. The simple combination of book clubs and moms make an easy, fun and guilt-free way to do reconnect with yourself and people who aren’t your roommates.
When I joined a book club, years ago now, I discovered that I immediately got to escape a little bit each day by sneaking in a few minutes reading here and there. My soul immediately filled and I began to rediscover myself again. I had forgotten how much I needed just a little something to myself, a little slice of escape.
So, let’s nourish your soul by getting you reading again. Here, you’ll learn in this post: 1) why you really need a book club; 2) how to find a book club to join or how to start one yourself; and 3) how to actually get that book read. Yes, I mean the whole thing.
10 Reasons You Need A Book Club
There are a lot of reasons to be part of a book club, but these are my top 10.
- Community. Mom, you’ve been surrounded by people who constantly place demands on you, whether they are teeny tiny babes or high schoolers. Dip your toe back into the adult world with women who will instantly accept you, actually listen to what you say, and speak back to you kindly with words that likely will inspire you. A book club can be the instant community you need.
- A Brain Work Out. Tired of Paw Patrol reruns? Is your mind numb from watching Super Mario Kart races? Creating space in your life for books to read will exercise your brain again. Trust me, it’s still there!
- A Break. You know you need one.
- New Peeps. Admittedly, I am a total introvert. The combination of a book club and moms was just what I needed to get connected to new people. You will discover new friends that will last a lifetime.
- You Read Things You Wouldn’t Otherwise. You may not always like what you read in a book club, but you will get exposed to new types of books, ideas, and authors. A book club will expand your reading horizons.
- Food & Wine. Enough said.
- Adult Conversation. Just a few words can nourish your soul. Especially, adult words that are not screamed at you from your basement.
- You Talk About Books. Some books just need to be discussed! Like at what point did you know the wife in Gone Girl was a really really bad person? And, if you are worried you won’t have anything to contribute or talk about, click here to download my free list of 10 book club questions to get yourself thinking.
- There are deadlines. Want to feel like you’ve actually accomplished something again? Book clubs and moms.
- You make yourself (and others) read your favorite books. You get a chance to make yourself read a book you’ve been dying to get through. And, you’re accountable for getting it done because you’ve just made a bunch of other moms read it too.
How To Start or Join A Book Club
Alright, mama. Now we are moving into logistics.
Find a book club
There are lots of places to find an existing book club where you are automatically welcome! Here are the top places to look for and join an existing book club.
- Online Book Clubs. Just google, girlfriend. But here are a couple great ones: Busy Moms Who Love To Read and The Stay At Home Mom Book Club.
- Library Book Clubs. Head on down to your local library and ask about their book clubs! They will have a great offering to choose from.
- Meet Up Book Clubs. Meet Up groups are online groups that you can join anytime. To find a book club near you, just click here.
- Reader’s Circle Book Clubs. Click here, enter your zip code, and find a book club in your hood.
- Your local neighborhood. Our neighborhood is full of online community list serves, church list serves, and school list serves. Poke around to see if anyone is already offering a group or stick your neck out and post a question to find one.
Start a book club
Starting a book club is a fun and easy process. But, you need consider some basic questions that will set the tone for your reading and your gatherings.
- Why are you starting a book club and what do you want to get out of it? This will set the vibe and tone for the group. For instance, are you looking for laid-back vibe where your girl friends can breeze through reads while sipping chardonnay? Or, would you prefer more of a serious literary bent?
- What type of people and how many will make up the club? Will it be mainly friends with whom you share something in common (beside your love of books), or are you looking to form a diverse group by inviting others you may not know as well?
- What types of books will your club primarily read? Fiction? Non-fiction? A particular genre, , such as romance, bestsellers or biographies? Or, will you read a bunch of different themes, rotating each month?
- How often will you meet? I have found that meeting every couple of months gives everyone time to digest their books and also is not super imposing on our family time and schedule. Also, we take longer breaks in the summer and during the holidays.
- Who will choose the books and lead the discussions? Are you always going to be in charge, or are you going to rotate through the group so that everyone gets an opportunity to choose something for others. In my book club, we rotate who chooses the book, and that person then choose three titles she loves, offers them to the group and we vote. The book with the most votes wins!
Once you have thought through these questions and have a sense of what works for you, start spreading the word and inviting people to join. You might consider sending out an email laying down the groundwork for what to expect, itinerary, or simply instructions on how to get to the place of meeting, even if that is your kitchen.
Whether you are joining a book club or starting one yourself, there will inevitably come a time when you will be racking your brain trying to figure out what questions to ask the group to spark conversation about the book … even if just for 15 minutes.
Most books today are accompanied by readers guide and book club questions! Simply google the following “Book Title + Book Club Questions.” If you can’t find a guide, or even if you can, I have created a list of 10 essential questions that will get any group of book club and moms talking. Click here to snag your free list of book club questions.
How to Actually Get An Entire Book Read
You may still be thinking to yourself, how the heck am I ever going to get a whole book read? If you are still struggling with the very first question of this post, then I am happy to squelch your doubts and fears, because you can get easily get that book read.
How? The answer, my dear, is Audible.
Audible is Amazon’s audio book platform and it rocks. Audio books allow you to read while you are driving people places, cooking dinner, folding laundry, cleaning the house, or on your way to work. They are always right there on your phone and you can start, stop and pick up where you left off all the time until you’re done.
With Audible, you can get a 30-day free trial with 2 free audio books and cancel anytime. If you are an Amazon Prime member (which you should be and if you have any doubts, please read this) you can get a 3 month free trial that comes with 3 free audiobooks. And, if you like to switch between reading and listening, Amazon has 70,000 titles that allow you to do this. You can easily exchange a book you don’t like and cancel anytime. Click here to try Audible.
Alright mom, what are you waiting? Are you going to sit there wishing you had just 5 minutes to care for yourself each day? Or, are you going to take a step to do just that by diving into great books to read with a book club and moms.