Reading is in this season. For many it already is an all-year round hobby but with the nights getting longer and the days getting colder, some people have been looking for replacement pastimes to keep them busy. Reading is one of the only forms of healthy entertainment left yet the magic of it is being lost amongst the younger generation (and older generation alike). However, sometimes all we need is redirection to rediscovering a joyous comfort to many, and with books one of the best ways you can do this is through joining a book club. 

There is a stigma surrounding book clubs but it is such a beneficial way of improving an already beneficial recreation. Books help you put yourself into other people’s shoes but attending book clubs allow you to see how the shoe fits for other people. Reading helps you discover emotions you didn’t know you had but joining a book club helps to vocalise those emotions and help you understand them. For example, ‘The Candid Book Club’ is your standard book club. Local to London, the members choose a book to read and after a given month they come together to discuss it and consequently learn more about each other. However, some of these conditions seem daunting, especially to new readers.  

SK, a member of ‘The Candid Book Club’ and two others as well as being a mother of two with a full time job, expressed her opinions on her book clubs and has given advice to those who are hesitant to join. A month sounds like a long time but in reality, with those with other responsibilities can’t afford to have reading at the top of their list so the deadline to finish the book seems like a forgotten thought. But the truth is you don’t always need to finish the book. SK has missed out book club meetings before because she simply didn’t have enough time that month but she emphasised that ‘intent matters’. As long as you enjoy yourself when reading you shouldn’t stress yourself with time constraints and the beauty of book clubs is to ‘come together with like minded people’ and ‘hearing different takes and perspectives’ which can always be enlightening even if you haven’t finished the book. And you don’t need to worry about being singled out. SK is happy to say she has ‘never felt judged in book club’ and that is because everyone has surely been in the same boat as you.  
Now being a member of 3 book clubs in addition to being a mother and full time worker sounds overwhelming but SK actually recommends it. She is adamant that “life is too short to waste time on books you don’t enjoy” so with being in more than one book club there is a likelihood that she will find at least one book she enjoys and this prevents one falling out of love with reading which is not the goal. 

So this autumn and winter (and hopefully all year round) invest some time into reading and discussing your thoughts with others and gradually see how it improves your outlook on life.