October is National Reading Group Month, a great time to celebrate the joy of sharing your passion for reading with fellow book lovers. If you are part of a book group that meets regularly, you already know about the benefits of book club membership such as exposure to new authors and titles, diverse perspectives, reading accountability, camaraderie and most importantly, fun!
If you aren’t yet a member of a book club, now is the time to form one. There are many resources and guides online to get you started. Sources as varied as Oprah, Reader’s Digest and the American Library Association can help you answer the "Five W's" (and one "H") of starting a book discussion group:
- Who do you want to include in the book group? Close friends? Co-workers? New people in your neighborhood?
- What types of books do you want to read? Do you want to choose a particular theme or genre? Or do you want to keep it wide open and eclectic, based on the moods and interests of the members?
- When is the best time of day to meet? Will you meet monthly, or less frequently? It helps to set a schedule and stick to it.
- Where will you gather? Coffee shop? Restaurant? People’s homes? Library? On Zoom?
- Why do you want to have a book club? Do you want an intimate group of close friends, or a large group that introduces you to new people? Do you want to have serious discussions or are you more interested in socializing? These are important questions to consider as they will inform your answers to the other questions.
- How will the group choose titles to read? Will you decide your books month by month or choose titles for a whole year at one time? Will you vote, take turns choosing books, or assign one person to pick them all?
Whether you are forming a new book club or have been meeting with the same group for many years, be sure to check out CPL’s extensive Book Club-in-a-Bag collection when you are looking for books to read together. Each bag contains 10 copies of a title along with a list of suggested questions to spark conversation.
If starting your own book club isn’t in the cards right now but you would like to join a book discussion group, have no fear! Here at the Canton Public Library we have several wonderful options available, and new members are always welcome.
The Contemporary Book Group meets on the third Monday of every month from 7:00-8:00 PM. This group reads fiction titles with a contemporary setting. See the 2023 selection of titles here.
The Eclectic Book Group meets on the second Thursday of every month from noon-1:00 PM. As the name suggests, the group reads a variety of genres and styles, including fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels. See the 2023 selection of titles here.
The Senior Book Group meets on the third Thursday of every month from 2:00-3:00 PM. This group reads a variety of fiction genres and a few nonfiction titles each year. See the 2023 selection of titles here.
Now that you have these resources, get out there and share the book club love! Be sure to have fun and remember, snacks are always welcome.