Hey guys! Here’s something you probably know already - social distancing is lonely. So you enjoy books, right? Have you tried an online book club?
After trying to find the time to join a book club a few years ago, I discovered a group of people on Reddit (a lesser-known social media platform) that were all reading War and Peace together - a chapter a day for a year starting on the first of the year. It was a lofty goal and it was already March when I found the group, so I had to play a little catch-up. But here’s the thing - the daily discussions of each chapter were addicting. There was insight, explanations, who’s whos, speculation, and lots of different perspectives. And even though I had attempted to read War and Peace on several previous occasions, that group was the motivation I needed to get through it and find joy in the story. After a year of War and Peace, I sought out other online book groups to enrich and diversify my reading experiences.
There are lots of options out there in internet land! You can start, like me, with War and Peace if you would like as the “A Year of War and Peace Book Group” is reading it again with a different set of readers for 2020. They started on January 1st, but with the long days at home, it’s not impossible to catch up at this point. If that’s not your cup of tea, here are some other suggestions:
The Hemingway List (Reddit) - There are 3000 people in this group reading their way through 16 essential works of literature, as recommended by Ernest Hemingway himself. Almost all of the books on this list are available in eBook form for free on Project Gutenberg. Because of the availability of these books for free on the internet, this is my top pick.
Books (Reddit) - This group is huge and they discuss all things books, including book recommendations, questions, discussions about reading techniques, love and hate of specific titles, and much more. But they also have a book club that reads a book a month with planned discussions as you read (daily!). These books vary in genre but tend to stay away from bestsellers, although most of them are newer publications so you may get lucky and find them in the library’s ebook collections or you may have to purchase book for this group.
SciFi and Fantasy Book Club (Goodreads) - This group picks two books a month and discusses them simultaneously in separate discussions. You can pick the one you are more interested in or try to read them both if you have the time.
Addicted to YA (Goodreads) - They pick an assortment of new and older books and read many at a time, so you have a lot of choices.
The Reddit Book Club (Reddit) - This is another of my favorite groups. They pick a wide assortment of books by nomination and vote each month, and then discuss scheduled chapters daily. They also make a point to choose some books that are in the public domain so they are available as free ebooks on Project Gutenberg.
I’m going to stop there, but keep in mind that there are tons and tons of other books clubs online that you can join - some broad and some based on a specific genre or interest. If you use Facebook, there are many book groups on that platform, as well as other social media like Twitter, Reddit, and Goodreads. There are also library-based books groups that have moved to a virtual platform, including the book groups at our library! You can also start your own group with friends using any of these platforms or using video chat like Zoom. And, as always, you are welcome to call the library if you need help locating a good group for your interests!