A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Joseph Anderson once said, “Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” Considering the strain we’re all under, it’s important to take care of our emotional well-being; what better way to treat yourself than with a good book? Now, combine the book with some socializing and you got yourself a book club!
There are a lot of existing online book clubs, so if you want you can just pick one and join. However, you can also start your own book club, which gives you the freedom to decide on a book yourself and pick your fellow members. Sounds good? Here we go:
Without any other members, you’ll be effectively talking to yourself about the book, which is maybe not the best way to spend quarantine. So give your friends and family a call, and see whether they’re interested in joining. Ideally, you ask people who have somewhat similar reading interests to you, which makes picking a book a bit easier.
This is an important one. So important, that I’ve decided to give it its own article, which you can find here: https://theleidener.com/2020/05/04/picking-a-book-for-your-book-club/
If you don’t want to read that, fine, I’m a little bit hurt but will summarize the most important points for you.
Now come the technicalities: How often are you gonna meet? How many chapters/pages are you reading before each meeting? Who comes up with discussion questions? Is anyone keeping a protocol (just kidding, but you do you!)?
Also, it’s important to figure out whether you’re agreeing on discussion questions beforehand (so you can pay special attention when reading) or whether you publish them during the meeting.
As mentioned in step 3, there are a lot of ways to do this. Depending on the book you chose, you can find a lot of questions online.
Here are some general questions that you can ask:
This is by far the most important. Sure, a little peer-pressure can make sure that you keep on reading, but make sure that you stay flexible. One member really didn’t make all the chapters? Go easy on them (and yourself), you can always reschedule or talk about fewer chapters. You are doing this for yourself, so keep it light and pressure-free.
I’d love to know what you’re reading right now! Is it any good? Let me know in the comments!