5 Ways Joining A Book Club Has Positively Impacted My Life
Joining a book club is one of those things that was never on my radar until someone else suggested it.
It’s had such a positive impact on my life since my friends and I started one of our own almost a year ago – I had to share it with you!
Here are a few of the things I’ve come to appreciate since joining my own group of book club babes.
1 – Reading More
Since joining a book club I have read SO many more books than I did previously.
Not only am I enjoying the books we’re discussing, it’s got me into the habit of reading outside of the confines of a holiday too.
Over the past four years I’ve read a fair bit, but prior to book club my reading was focused on business or self-development titles.
Nowadays I absolutely love diving into a book for the pure pleasure and escapism of it.
2 – Time Away From The Screen
Screen time is a big part of my daily life. For work I’m at my laptop or using my phone. And in the evenings I love settling into watch a bit of telly.
Whilst I’m not adverse to these things at all (um, Love Island!), too much screen time can have a negative impact on your sleep, posture and a whole host of other things.
In general I’m down to cut back on screen time where I can.
Having the prompt to read more, actively takes me away from my screens.
I’ve noticed since reading has become a bigger part of my life that I generally reach for screens less often. I’m just as happy picking up a magazine, book or going for a stroll to appease my boredom.
3 – A New Friendship Group
Our book club is made up of eleven women. We all knew each other before, but we’ve become even closer since having the joint interest of our bi-monthly get-togethers.
Not only are we sharing an interest in the books we are reading, we also have a ‘practical’ reason to get together regularly.
It can be SO hard to co-ordinate the diaries of two friends, let alone eleven(!) so our book club is the perfect excuse to get a firm date in the diary.
Moreover, I feel like I’ve got to know some of the women in our group so much better since we started.
It’s so so lovely to spend those hours together. And since we always accompany our book club get-togethers with wine and snacks, it’s a great social occasion as much as anything else.
4 – Broadening Your Perspective
One of the things which really surprised me about joining a book club, is how much it’s broadened my perspective on a number of subjects.
In our book club we each take it in turn to choose a book. This means that since we all have different tastes, we’ve read from a wide range of genres. There are books which I would never have thought to pick up pre book club. Some of these I’ve since read and really enjoyed. There have also been titles which are completely divisive in our group – which sparks a great debate and conversation!
Some of my favourite books to discuss have been the ones which have polarised us as a group the most, as I learn so much from everyone else’s opinions and interpretations too.
I love the notion of living in an atmosphere of growth (as author Gretchen Rubin advocates), and reading a wide range of titles definitely challenges me to do just that.
5 – Connecting To People Outside Of Our Book Club
An interest or hobby is a great way to create a connection with others, both within your hobby group and in the wider world.
By reading more, I’m now able to discuss books with clients, friends and people I’m being introduced to.
I’ve found that people who also enjoy reading are practically evangelical about the titles they love. This had led to so many great recommendations from random conversations!
Moreover I’ve noticed that if I mention a book title on social media, I always get a slew of comments from people who’ve read the book, would love to read it or have recommendations for other titles they think I’d enjoy.
Reading is such an amazing connector, and I’m so glad that I’ve finally found my groove with it again.
In case you’re interested in starting your own book club, or picking up on your own reading, I’ve rounded up a few great titles below . . .
5 Book Club Recommendations For Summer
The Lido by Libby Page
One of this summer’s most anticipated debut novels, The Lido follows the story of two unlikely friends brought together by their joint commitment to preserving the legacy of their local Brixton lido.
Libby and I went to University together so naturally I’m even more excited to spread word and delve into this book which has received the most incredible praise from press worldwide.
SUPER proud friend moment! Follow Libby on Instagram – @LibbyPageWrites – for more behind the scenes snippets.
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfred
Ella recommended this book to me a while ago, and she promised that it would be one of the most romantic stories I’d ever read. True to her promise I still think about this story, and the love between its two main characters, all the time.
If you really fall for big love, this novel is for you.
Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams
Recently I was invited to a gorgeous dinner thrown by my friend Lizzie, and author Laura Jane Williams was there too. After connecting over dinner Laura very kindly sent me a copy of her new book to read.
Ice Cream for Breakfast is all about re-discovering our child-like selves, so that we can enjoy our adult lives a lot more and forget about our “bullshit adult problems”. From the first page I was completely engrossed in this book.
Ella has written a detailed review of the book, and I can’t recommend you picking up your own copy enough!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Oh my word – this book. I love it SO much!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of a social mis-fit who is slowly finding her way to a more enjoyable ‘normal’ life via the unlikely friendship of a kind colleague.
The matter-of-fact protagonist makes this story simultaneously one of the most heart-warming, heart-breaking and hilarious I’ve ever read.
Can We Still Be Friends by Alexandra Shulman
I read this book years ago and it remains one of my favourite novels on female friendship. The book follows the lives of three friends fresh out of university, and their individual paths post-Uni.
It’s the most wonderful and honest tapestry of female friendships and it really resonated with me in my early twenties. I think I might re-read it this summer!
I am so so happy to have joined a book club. Its positive effects go far beyond simply reading more. If you have an inkling that you’d like to join or start one of your own I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so!
If my friend Rosie hadn’t suggested it none of our book club babes would have thought to do so. It has brought so much happiness to us all since we embarked on our little literary adventure!
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Are you a part of a book club or have you ever been?
Do you have any titles you can recommend? I’d love to hear them!
Love, Monica x
Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash