Friday Coffee Chat (21)–To book club, or not to book club?

To Book Club or Not to Book Club? That Is the Question!

I took last week off of Friday Coffee Chat because of Bloggiesta, but the week before that we talked about whether we should be serious readers, fun readers, or both. Make sure you check out Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading’s Friday Coffee Chats as well. She does some great ones!


This week on Friday Coffee Chat I want to explore book clubs. So many readers are in them and since Oprah started her book club, it seems like they popped up everywhere. I myself have been in two book clubs over the years, and just tried a new one last week. Each book club seemed to have its own personality, and I definitely enjoyed some more than others.

For me personally, the book club I enjoyed most was the purely fun reading one. It was a group called Thrill Me! that I went to in Austin. I initially went to this book club because I was trying to expand the genres that I read. I miss this group of people because they were SO fun. We read things like Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, John Connolly, Tami Hoag, and others. Probably one of the funniest moments in the group was when someone pointed out that Jack Reacher (from the books by Lee Child) never bathed but he was super popular with the ladies. I loved that someone thought of that because I honestly hadn’t thought of it while reading it. This group usually sat around and talked about the book for 20-40 minutes or so and then we would just shoot the breeze at the cafĂ© for a LONG time afterwards. I loved that because we really enjoyed each other’s company outside of just talking about books.

My other book club tended to be much more cerebral. It was fun for sure and my brain usually got a workout from it. The company was good and we usually had some good food too as well as pretty in depth discussions about the book that would go on for quite awhile. While I thought this group was great in its own way, I have to admit that I enjoyed the thriller book club more just because it was crazier.

Last week, I tried a new book club. Everyone was really nice and welcoming, but they tended to pick literary fiction (or so it seems) and while I enjoy literary fiction from time to time, I have found that I more like the company in book clubs than just talking about the books we read. When I get together with readers, I do love talking about books, but I also really want to know them as people too. I also admit that I get a little intimidated by those literary books because I read more for the story than the technical aspects of books. When people in the group talk about the technical aspects I admit that sometimes I get bored and sometimes I feel stupid! Should I be admitting this? Maybe. Maybe not, but I am owning that this is something that I actually feel during book clubs.

Thinking about what type of book club I look for, I realized that not all people even like book clubs. Some people prefer to read on their own while others enjoy chatting about books with friends. It made me wonder what people’s motivations were when they either chose not to do a book club or sought one out. Are people just shy when they choose not to join a book club? Is reading a private thing? These are some questions that have come up in my mind now that I’m searching for new readers with which to connect.

This week’s Friday Coffee Chat questions are:
  • Are you a member of a book club?
  • If so, what are your motivations for joining a book club?
  • What do you look for when you join a book club? Do you seek out strangers to talk about books with (like on or do you only do book clubs with friends you know and are comfortable with?
  • What kind of books do you prefer to read with a book club?
  • Do you like themed book clubs like romance, thriller, literary, chick lit, etc.?
  • If you don’t like book clubs, tell us all why you prefer to read alone? Is it because you are shy or because reading is just private to you? Is there some other reason?
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