Book Clubs: They’re Not just for Reading


Join a Book Club to Make New Friends. The Book Club reality is it’s just a big gabfest!

Joining or creating a book club sounds like you must love to read. That you want to inspect the inner recess of each and ever syllable on the page. Nope, the secret to a fulfilling book club is that you must love to see friends, socialize and chat. Oh ya, and eat + drink, too.

Secondary to the social discourse is the book. A good book will bring you to book club once. A good conversation and friends will keep you going month after month.

Water Street Books says it perfectly: “Book Groups…build friendships, create community, deepen our understanding of our world and the human condition, and are just a lot of fun.

I love my book club. Not only do I get to read which gives me a sense of personal development and some “me-time”, but chiefly, it gives me a monthly date with my friends. People who were more like acquaintances when we first started meeting to confabulate over books, now a couple years later I call these women my friends.

To harness the power of a successful Book Club, you must have 3 things:

1.  A regular schedule with a planned meeting place.

Even if the place rotates, that needs to be spelled out. We’re busy moms…we operate best with a schedule.

2.  A set book list.

Create a book list that goes for several month. Some people read faster, some people will skip books, some people will listen to audiobooks (special note: Check your library for a free subscription to an audiobook and e-book app. I use Overdrive but others use Hoopla). And creating the list is part of the fun.

3.  Most importantly, a book club must have built-in social time.

Have snacks, drinks and an established social time to catch up and meet new friends. So let’s say your book club is from 7:00-9:00pm on Friday night. 7:00-7:45 might be your time to chit chat. 7:45-9:00pm is book time. If people stay until 10:00pm then, you my friend, have a successful book club!

Looking to Join a Book Club?

  • Check your local library. The Portsmouth Library hosts both a fiction and non fiction book discussion group. The Somersworth Library has a book discussion group that meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm. 
  • Join Meet Up. There are book clubs in Dover, Portsmouth, and Amesbury. Maybe more. Meet Up also allows you to set up your own club. Joining is free. Setting up a group has a fee. But if you’re super interested in reading the Game of Thrones series, through this app you could create a special group and find people to join you. I’d join that (this nerdy-mom already read them + would love to meet others to geek-out with!).
  • Search Facebook. I found @Portsmouth NH Book Club. 
  • And if you live in the Exeter area, please feel free to join my club. In May we are reading “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly. 

Create Your Own Book Club:

Start with who you know.

Try your natural connections like neighbors or co-workers or mommy groups. Neighborhood book clubs are easier to attend since you can walk to the meeting (especially helpful if there is wine). Have some mommy friends? Make it a playdate for the kids and then mommy book discussion time. 

Use Facebook to create a group.

Facebook allows you to create events and groups right from your personal page. Hit “Add Group” from the icons at the bottom of your homepage and you’re on your way. You don’t have to meet at your house. Instead gather at a local coffee shop or brew pub. If you are on Instagram, search hashtags like #bookclub or #booksinstagram or #oprahbookclub for book suggestions + inspiration. 

All you need are 2 or 3 people to start a group.

Create a core group of people. Set the structure and then fear not, as you talk it up people will join. Remember why you created the group…You were looking to make new friends over a common interest. Yup, me too. That is what so many women are in search of.

Book Clubs are a great way to meet new friends. Think about it, you know you’ll have something to talk about!

If you have a Book Club, let us know what works for you. What are the best books you’ve read? What are your pro-tips for creating and maintaining your book group?







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