Let’s Talk: Are book clubs still a thing? Do people use them anymore?

title

I don’t actually know where this week’s discussion idea came from. I suppose it might have been my own change in…position…? regarding book clubs.

That sounded way more dramatic than I meant it to be. 

Basically, I joined a book club. That’ll be where this came from.

Anyway, I’m rambling already. I’ll save that for the discussion. Which leads to the question…

Are book clubs still a thing?

Now, obviously I know that book clubs still exist. By “still a thing” I mean something along the lines of…are they still somewhat popular or have they fallen into the oblivion of “uncoolness” (because yep, we bookworms are pros at being cool, am I right?).

the idea

The idea is for people to read the same book around the same time, so that they can talk about it after. Pretty simple. Something so simple should work out well for book lovers, right?

Well honestly? I don’t feel like they work that well. Sure, it’s a nice idea. I love the idea of a book club. But in all seriousness, this is what most book clubs go by:

There will be a book of the month. Someone (probably the person that started the club) will choose this book. All members should read that book. By the end of the month, all members will chat about said book.

But for people like me…well, it’s not really practical. I can’t always afford to go out and buy new books, so there may be times I wouldn’t be able to join in. Or maybe a book is chosen that I just really don’t want to read. Or maybe I just don’t have time for another book that I feel…less inclined to read because I didn’t choose it myself.

So that seems to be my inner debate. Loving the idea of a book club, the small community it brings and being able to chat thoroughly about a book without having to give spoiler alerts… versus the hesitant side of me that just fails at TBRs and hates feeling even the slightest bit under pressure to read a book by a certain time, even though it’s perfectly easy to complete.

– That was probably the longest sentence I’ve ever written in my life. Bloomin’ hell.

But I personally feel like this is why book clubs aren’t used as often as they used to. People can’t always get hold of the books. People don’t always have enough time to finish the book within the time frame. People …maybe just don’t want to? That, and the way internet has made bookish discussions like this very one so much easier to stumble across.

part of any

That being said, I AM actually part of a book club. Well, three actually, if you count Goodreads groups. BUT I’m only actively taking part in one of them.

The Austentatious Book  Club!

Hosted by Zoe @ ReadByZoe (booktube channel), this book club focuses on reading all of Jane Austen’s books. And once that’s done, maybe it will range out to other classics. But for now, we read one Jane Austen book a month – the schedule is all planned out and ready. There’s also movie nights every few weeks with the book club, where Zoe hosts a livestream that shows the movie, and we can live chat through messages.

Now, I didn’t join this book club straight away. The hesitation kicked in…and then I decided to kick it out. 

YES, I AM going to be part of this book club for once. Why? Because I’ve been slowly getting into classics more, and have been wanting to read all of Jane Austen’s books anyway. Also, the Wordsworth Classics are only £1.99 each, so buying the books won’t be an issue. I already bought the next two month’s books, I’ll order the rest closer to the time. We recently had a movie night, watching the Pride and Prejudice movie, and I LOVE it. I can’t wait for the next one.

And if this club will make me all the more excited to read classics? Then OF COURSE I’M GOING TO JOIN!

And while I’m very aware that all that may have sounded like one huge promotion for the book club, that wasn’t my intention. I mentioned it because it changed my opinion wholeheartedly. Book clubs are great! They’re just…not all that practical to everybody.

judgement

My judgement is this: I don’t take part in book clubs that often, but if the right one comes along and I genuinely think I’ll be able to keep up with the books, then yes, I’m all for it. I mean, I’ve even considered making my own book club before – how crazy would that be?

But I don’t think that many people take part in them any more. At least not actively. I hardly ever see anyone saying “I’m reading this as part of my book club!” 

And honestly? I think that’s because the online bookish community is basically one huge book club. We might not be reading the same things at the same time all the time, but there WILL be someone out there to chat to about a certain book if you go looking.

But I also feel like they’re ever so slowly coming back. Like choker necklaces and vinyls, book clubs are making their way back into our world (though…maybe not in such a “cool” way). But take booktubers for example – a lot of them host a book club. And a lot of people are part of them. People love watching live shows of book discussions…it’s like the international way to sit gossiping about fictional people. Amazing, right?

We need more of it in the world. 



Now it’s your turn!

Are you part of any book clubs? Why?

Do you think book clubs have died out, or do you think they’re more popular than ever…just online?

What would make you consider joining a club?

Join the discussion in the comments!

Until next time…

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32 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Are book clubs still a thing? Do people use them anymore?

  1. I am part of some book clubs on Goodreads, but not actively at all haha, exactly because of the reasons you named. But you’re right, the online book community is definitely one big book club!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never been a part of an official bookclub, although I’ve been debating with the idea of creating a book group where each person talks about what they’ve read in the month, rather than trying to suggest one book for everyone to read. I have similar issues with the practicality of being part of a traditional bookclub – I like to vary what I read and I doubt I’d feel like I had enough freedom to read what I wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. I used to be part of a book club that had a book of the month, but it also had a challenge for the month, so things like “read a book with yellow on the cover” or “Read a book under 200 pages”, which I thought was SUCH a good idea! It meant we could read the book of the month if we wanted to, but if not we could pick something from our bookshelves based on the challenge 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of a book club, especially when I take part in things like #UKYAchat and absolutely love it! However…I’m not very good at reading books that other people want me to, especially when its to a deadline. I also get really un-engaged REALLY quickly in books that I’m not enjoying, which could definitely be an issue with a real life book club haha! The pressure! Like you say, the online book community has so much in the way of chats on Goodreads, Twitter and blogs that I don’t feel like I’m missing out! Great post. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I’m not good with the deadlines thing either, even if I know I’d be able to meet it. It’s strange (and also one of the reasons why I don’t use libraries)

      Like

  4. Yes i am part of a book club on good reads but I am not that active on it.. Because like u said… Getting your hands on the designated book is difficult then completing it on time is another issue… I feel like I am rushing by the book without savoring it… And then I almost always miss the live show because of the time difference 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also don’t participate in the book clubs on Goodreads, other than those I don’t follow any other book clubs but I like the idea of forming one. I just don’t think I’m ever going to do so. Mostly because I agree with your statement that the online book community is basically a giant book club.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see the book clubs on Goodreads/Instagram all the time but I don’t take part in them (I joined the group for one but I haven’t done a single month). I really do want to, and I guess I’m such a nerd I still think they’re cool. It’d be a great way to possibly meet new bookish friends and discover new favorite books.

    I don’t join for some of the reasons you mentioned though. They are usually reading newer books that I don’t have and can’t afford, or they’re reading a book I don’t want to read (or just not in the mood for when they’re reading it). Plus being a part of a book club or synchronized reading puts deadlines and expectations on when it needs to be done and I like to read at my own pace. I don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll challenge myself to join one and actually participate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The deadline thing is exactly the reason why I don’t use libraries too! I feel like they’re similar in that way. But yeah, I feel like a lot of people like the idea of book clubs, but actually participating in them is another matter entirely!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it’s more like, “Pick a cover that’s green,” or “starts with the letter I” and they’re fun. But I focused on that before I had this blog. And tags. And nominations. So I’m just done with them now. I did my green cover (Mara Dyer), and my letter one was Ignite Me in the Shatter series, but I just have too much to read. I’m sure you have the same problem! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s cute…but I just don’t have time anymore. I was asked to mod the YA Dystopian book club, but with the blog and school and reading and trying to keep up with GR and my galley sites in general, it’s just too much. Something’s gotta give, and that’s the easiest to part with. You know?

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think book clubs are dying out, but that they are just moving online for the convienence factor… Only online are you are able to find book clubs that cater more to your own reading tastes… There are thousands upon thousands of different types of book clubs on Goodreads alone! Are you a fan of Stephen King’s books? There is a book club for that! Only read YA fantasy novels? There’s a book club for that! Also, it is just so hard with everyone’s schedules to find a time to meet in person, then there is the whole issue of WHERE to meet… Online book clubs just make it so easy!

    I am part of an “in person book club” and I will say there is nothing quite like a real life book club meeting! I pick and choose which books I read… If they select a book that I know I won’t like, I skip it and catch them next month.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great discussion! I tried to join book clubs, but because I am a mood reader, it didn’t work out that well. I love reading, but as soon as I feel forced to read something, it goes wrong. Plus, I have come across more and more people recently that can’t seem to accept different opinions than theirs, so I try to avoid the drama from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From my experience, book clubs don’t really work. I tried to have a book & movie club at school and several people came to get the book and then returned it after reading and didn’t show up to the movie. There was only 2 other people beside me all year 😕 I didn’t get it. It was a free book and a movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a lot of people feel like that kind of thing is a leisurely hobby (which it is), but as soon as they feel they HAVE to dedicate time to it, they’re much more resistant. It’s strange. I do it myself to some extent *shrugs*

      Like

  10. Interesting post! I would say that I struggle with book clubs because I’m more of a mood reader that doesn’t like to be told what the read xD Also this is terrible but they remind me of school book assignments. I love the concept and idea behind them – read a cool book you are probably interested in and discuss with like-minded individuals! – I can’t seem to get into them. I’ve noticed the decline of in-person book clubs in favor of online book clubs as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Internet book clubs will always be more convenient than finding enough people nearby to meet up every so often, I guess.
      And I’m the same. Mood reading can make any assigned book feel like a chore!

      Liked by 1 person

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