More Culture:

January 12, 2016

Read more in 2016 by joining a book club

Find a club in your community or join one online

New year, new goals. One of the most popular goals for the new year is to read more. Some choose to try the 100 book challenge, attempting to finish before the next year, but like those trying to kick-start a fitness habit and struggling to go to the gym, it's easier to do with support. 

This year try joining a book club for motivation, community support, accountability and added fun. No matter if you just want to read one more book than last year or have a set number in mind, joining one of these clubs will help you reach your goal in 2016.

Emma Watson's Feminist Book Club

The club is called "Our Shared Shelf" and anyone is able to join through the website GoodReads. Watson will choose a new book every month and a discussion of the book will take place on the last week of the month. 

The first book is "My Life on the Road" by Gloria Steinem. The best part of this club is that there are already more than 70,000 participants signed up including celebrities, which means lots of community support.

One Book, One Philadelphia

Need to ease yourself back into reading? Start with "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier. The book was chosen as the 2016 pick for One Book, One Philadelphia. The program promotes the entire greater Philadelphia area joining together through the reading and discussion of a single book.

Joining in is easy since libraries across Philly are stocked with the book in hard copy, e-book and audio book form to give everyone easy access. Also, once Tuesday, Feb. 2 arrives the city will start a schedule of events surrounding "Cold Mountain," which will continue until Wednesday, March 30.

The Metro Philadelphia Book Club

This club usually meets at a BYOB or restaurant in Philly to discuss the book of the month. The next upcoming event is on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant, where members will discuss the One Book, One Philadelphia pick "Cold Mountain." 

If that date is too soon, try preparing for the Tuesday, Feb. 16 meet-up. Members will again meet at Fado, this time, to discuss "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," by Lewis Carroll.

Both events begin at 7 p.m. Sign up online to join.

Books and Beers: A Literary Amazing Book Club

Enjoy a drink while discussing the book of the month in this club. Usually, the meet-up is in a Philly bar but sometimes the club meets for brunch.

Sign up to discover the next book on their list.

That's What She Read: Havertown Women's Book Club

Members vote on what book to read next in this club, which is located in Delaware County. Those in the area can request to join the club, which also hosts book swaps. 

Manayunk Book Club

Each month this club meets in Manayunk for a discussion on the book of the month. The January pick was Lauren Groff's "Fates and Furies."

Sign up to discover the next book and meet-up date.

The Ardmore/Main Line Book Club

This club meets once or twice a month. All genres are included but each month has a theme. Anyone in the area is welcome to join to attend the events.

The next upcoming event is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at Saxby's on Lancaster Ave, Haverford. The book that will be discussed is "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert

Fishtown Saturday Book Club

The name of the club almost says it all. Members meet in various Fishtown locations to discuss the book of the month. The books that are usually chosen are ones that have made a historical, social or literary impact. 

The next scheduled event is Saturday, Jan. 23, when members will discuss "The Adventures of Augie March" by Saul Bellow.

Become a member to find out the exact location.

Make Your Own

Don't see a club that suits your style, or isn't close to your location? Start your own. Creating a book club is easy. The hardest part will be choosing what books to read. Use this simple checklist to get your club off the ground.

  1. Pick a theme/tone - Will you have scholarly discussions? Is it more of a casual get-together? Will you read everything off the Bestsellers list? Should a different member get to pick a different book each month?
  2. Get the word out -- Invite friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone who might be interested. The more the merrier. 
  3. Choose a time/location -- Decide how often the club should meet (typically once a month) and if everyone should take turns hosting the event.
  4. Keep in touch -- Send out an email blast, make a Facebook page, or create anything that will make it easy for your group to stay up-to-date on the club.