Book clubs can be a fun, engaging, and educational experience at any time, but especially now during the COVID-19 stay-in-place orders, they can be especially helpful. You might be thinking I have enough work to do with my own reading and research, why would I join a book club? That’s a valid point. But here’s the thing: we all need to get out of our own work sometimes. A book club can not only provide an escape from the same old work you’ve been doing, but it can also provide inspiration and help you see things in a whole new way. Reading and book clubs promote critical thinking and analysis, which can only help us with our own reading and research. Book clubs encourage deeper engagement with stories and narratives, which is important for literacy and critical thought, in general.

Joining a book club, then, can seem frivolous on the surface, but can actually enhance your reading and writing overall. Here are some other benefits of joining a book club.

Connection with others. Especially now, with social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, being physically near others can be challenging, particularly if you live alone. Joining a book club that meets virtually during these times can provide conversation and fun. Even outside of the virtual meetings, knowing that you are reading alongside others can give you a boost. Meeting new people is always a perk of book clubs.

Exposure to books and ideas. Maybe you’d never pick up the book your book club is reading. Maybe you haven’t read anything from the author at all. Though it may feel uncomfortable at first, this is a good thing. Being exposed to things you wouldn’t normally read (within reason, of course – you don’t want hateful material) is a good thing and forces you to examine unconscious biases or misconceptions and think critically about new material, as well as opens up new genres for you. Inspiration and new ideas can come from where you least expect it.

Improve conversational skills and boost confidence. If you tend to get nervous during class discussions or don’t like speaking in front of others, a book club, where the group actively discusses the readings, either in-person (after this pandemic is over) or by video conferencing, can help you practice discussing ideas and offering critiques. By engaging with others about ideas, themes, and other various issues, you get inadvertent practice with public speaking.

Your writing may improve. Everyone knows that good writers read a lot. If you don’t have a reading practice already, joining a book club will force you to read a book a month (usually). It will help you establish a regular reading practice, but it will also expose you to different styles of writing, different genres of books, and a variety of styles. By reading more widely, your own writing may improve.

Are you part of a book club? Have you found it to be beneficial?

Here at Dissertation Editor, we are big readers and we’d love to hear about your experiences with book clubs or reading groups. We are here to help you with academic and professional projects and offer a wide variety of services to help you achieve your goals. Social distancing and quarantine? No problem – all of our services are remote and we can’t wait to hear from you. Contact us today to learn more!

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