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WORD. Book Club Kids

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Winter has always been a reader-friendly season. Besides, reading is sexy af. (Check out Hot Guys Reading on Instagram. Talk about a segue.) Picture yourself on a cold day, curling up with a good book in front of a fire or heater. Joining a book club also ensures you leave the house when you finish it.

It’s great that a solitary experience can lead to a socialising opportunity. Whatever storytelling floats your boat, there are likeminded folk around town down with discussing it. Bookstores and libraries can point you in the right direction—if you’re cool with admitting to an OTP (one true pairing) weakness a la Twilight at the counter.

Most people’s minds go straight to the classics, and homework flashbacks ensue. Don’t veto the idea just yet—this isn’t high school. There’s no designated reading list. A book club can read whatever they hell they want.

And by hell, I mean horror. Or young adult, romance, historical, biographies, philosophy, fiction by local authors, novels focusing on LGBTQI characters, poetry, even obscure short stories that never got the chance to become big (here’s lookin’ at you Krzhizhanovsky). The (written) world is your oyster. Or should I say, bookshelf.

The net offers details on many an open book club, if you’re looking to meet new people. Co-workers sometimes create book clubs so they get to say more to each other than “can you cover my shift?” Student book clubs are big: ask around campus. Post an open call on social media for likeminded friends interested in a different kind of clubbing.

You don’t have to sit at desks in a circle when talking (book)shop. At a coffee shop, over dinner, in a park, at someone’s place—wherever works. (Note: Discussing A Game Of Thrones and allocating a shooter for every death mentioned will see your mains wasted within minutes. #lifelesson)

Online book clubs are growing in popularity, and easy to join. Group discussions don’t have to be in person; tech lets us talk on a global scale. (Google it.) Skyping with friends can become a modern form of book club. Group messaging is also a way to while away an hour discussing a novel.

If money is an issue for some of the club, ebooks are a super-affordable option. Keep an eye on freebies and flash specials. Pick a genre, an author, or let everyone take turns choosing.

Life is richer when you read. Expect to find a person in your book club who won’t shut up, a person who hardly speaks, and someone who has such a weird way of looking at life; you’ll gain a whole new perspective on the characters.

Note: Book clubs with friends occasionally become a wine club. Or chocolate club. Or catching up on each other’s news club. Or working toward hooking up club. (Watch the film The Jane Austen Book Club for a demo of dos and don’ts.) Try to stay on point. Focus on the text—at least for a while!

GILLIAN O’MEAGHER