Article by Lady Terry
Whether you’re keen to join a ‘Jane Austen’ style book club, get into the nitty gritty of sci-fi, eager to stimulate your grey matter or just want to have a giggle with the girls over a glass of Sancerre, novelist Thérèse, aka; Lady Robinson gives her top tips on finding the right book group for you .
Here, Thérèse shares her own personal experience in joining a book club:
“Book clubs are as varied as any other kinds of club. You have to find the right one for you. Over the years I’ve joined many, but my current one is the best fit so far because it has the perfect balance for me and it’s hosted by a good friend. We donate to it annually to cover costs and support our local college. We meet four times a year and have dinner and wine together, then sit in a circle in comfy chairs while one person leads the discussion. I find it fascinating how passionate the discussions can get and I’ve made new friends through it. I’ve also had the opportunity to really stretch myself to read books I would never have discovered or persevered with alone.”
- Look closely at the genre that interests you most. Is it classical literature, crime, commercial fiction, chick lit? European, Russian, American? Ask yourself if you’re open to being challenged. Maybe you want to delve out of your comfort zone, maybe not. Look for a club with the same interests as you.
- Start by asking friends if they belong to one. Find out a little about the format. How often do they meet? Is it free? What kind of people go? Do they have a glass of wine or coffee? What were the last two books they read and what are they reading now?
- It can be daunting to join any existing group on your own. If you are initially nervous about meeting new people why not take a friend along with you the first time.
- Nobody expects you to contribute at your first meeting. It’s natural to want to hold back. The best clubs are the ones where there’s no pressure for you to speak to the group until you feel really comfortable.
- Remember you aren’t going back to school. Don’t be intimidated. A little trial and error and you should find a group you connect with because people you like will tend to enjoy the same books as you do. If all else fails and you can’t find the perfect club then why not start one yourself?