This Is Why You Need To Join A Book Club, Not A Playgroup

by Melissa L. Fenton
Originally Published: 
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If you had a choice to be a part of one of the following, which one would seem more appealing?

1. A playgroup at your house where a bunch of snotty-nosed kids run around biting each other, smashing Goldfish crackers into your plush area rug, and swallowing Legos, all while you attempt to have adult conversation but can’t because Sofia the First is blaring in the background.

2. Grown-up, riveting, witty, yet quiet conversation all at someone’s else’s house with zero kids within 50 feet of you, where you sip on white wine spritzers while inhaling artichoke canapés and noshing on spinach dip. And you leave smarter.

It’s a no-brainer.

Which means, it’s time to ditch the toddler tantrums and strained conversation at the fast-food playground, and replace it with a good old-fashioned ladies only book club. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to quote all the classics you read in high school to participate, or wax poetic about the subtle linguistic nuances of 19th-century British literature. All you need are a few friends, a kid-free space, and a really, reeaally good page-turner. Then get ready to enjoy all the cool benefits and great company from your new book club babes, like these.

1. You’re gonna read more. Period.

Simply put, this is where a little peer pressure is a good thing. You’re officially in a book club now, so that means log the hell out of Facebook already and get your butt to the library. All those “I don’t have time to read” excuses no longer apply because you have to make time. Woo!

2. There will be food.

Some book clubs even go so far as to cook a dish that reflects the book they’re reading at the time. Story set in India? Curry chicken it is. Historical fiction set in London? Scones and tea are on the menu. Just know there won’t be a Cheerio or fruit snack in sight. Thank god.

3. Expand your reading genres.

If you’ve always stuck to one type of book, this is the perfect chance to get out of your comfort zone and read something you never would’ve picked on your own. You might just find a new favorite.

4. Borrow books.

I’m the worst when it comes to overdue books and library fines, and I’m a librarian for crying out loud. Solution? Well, your book club will give you total access to your friend’s home libraries. Check it out, fine-free.

5. Talk and have civil debate with people IRL.

Remember when people used to engage in civil discourse face to face? Me neither. But here’s your chance to have actual real conversations with other people. You will broaden your horizons, even if you don’t change your mind.

6. Wine

Yep. It’s usually there — lots of it. And it flows almost as fast and effortlessly as the conversation does.

7. Deeper connections than social media comments and 140 character tweets.

Let’s be honest, a cold keyboard, sterile screen, and small comments spaces on social media posts do not provide an environment for real human connection. So go meet some flesh-and-blood humans. It’s pretty cool.

8. There are deadlines. See No. 1.

What’s the quickest way to get you to stop making reading excuses? Not wanting to feel left out when you get to book club because you didn’t actually read the assigned chapter. This is where deadlines are a good thing, and you’ll find yourself giving a nod to your high school lit teacher.

9. Talk about non-political crap, and someone else’s drama

Let’s face it: The daily news is grim, and your personal reality may be just as tough, so why not focus on someone else’s bad (and fake) reality? Books are a great vacation.

Nothing says, “I’m grateful for my life” more than reading a fiction novel with another character’s horrible and troubled fate. It’s fun to swim with the sharks in someone else’s pool once in a a while, and a great book will do just that for you. Finally, there is a great excuse to talk about more than what’s happening in the real world, and hang out with your girlfriends sans kids. Glorious.

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