Monday, May 04, 2020

Steal My Idea - Virtual Book Club

In fairness, it is not even technically my idea, but I feel empowered to allow you to steal it.  Yep.  
Let me provide an unnecessary amount of backstory.  I have always loved reading.  Books Clubs seemed like a natural fit.  And yet, so many of them wanted to read what looked to me like boring books.  (Boring is in the eye of the beholder, of course.)  So, I didn't.  We tried starting one at work.  We had like twenty people at the first meeting and four at the next.  (Many of you who have tried to put together groups are nodding your heads.)  When a work reorg took us down to three we tried to keep going. Except one of the folks consistently kept not reading the book by the deadline, refused to have a meeting where we talked about the book in front of her, and also got sad if we had the meeting without her.  So essentially she killed it.  
So, imagine my delight when I found a book club dedicated to reading YA.  And then later one dedicated to reading romance.  (Shout out to the other book club I accidentally joined for a bit that I won't name because I never told them I was there accidentally.  They read cool things too.)  I've done some online ones with mixed success.  I never could tell how much was that even if you read a lot, having some portion of your reading be assigned reading was tough, or if the online things are easier to forget because it seems like since there's no commute you don't have to plan.  
So, anyway, I recently discovered Silent Book Club.  The idea is that you gather at a place with drinks and/or snacks.  Chat.  Read silently but together for an hour.  And then you can chat a bit more after.  I was enjoying it.  But obviously, with places that serve drinks and snacks not allowing gatherings at the moment, it is tough.  
My in person book clubs have gone virtual, so I have seen people and chatted books.  But you know.  Sometimes you want more.  
So, what me and a few folks have done, is once a month, I send out an email reminder to gather up your snacks and drinks.  We read separately for an hour.  And then I send out the chat link.  (I've been using Hangouts, but like there are a trillion options - Discord, Skype, etc.) So if you have bookish friends you would like to chat with in these times but the idea of selecting a book that everyone agrees on is too much, this works well.