Monday, January 19, 2015

How Many Book Clubs Am I In?!

On the way to Starbucks on Saturday night, I made a sweeping declaration:

"From now on, I am going to limit myself to only reading two books at a time! No more of this three-or-four-books-simultaneously thing. I am overwhelmed!"*

And Matt said yeah right. He pointed out that one of my "only two" book slots is currently being taken up by my slowly attempting to read "Harry Potter" in Spanish. He said he believed me for right this second, but that the second I realized that I had two book club books to read in a week's time, I'd freak out and start reading both at the same time regardless of how many other books I had going.

Not book club picks. Just for fun. :)

And then came the question: "Just how many book clubs ARE you in?!"

Um. A lot.

See, when I found out we were moving, I joined several different book clubs on Meetup. I made a lot of good friends in my book club in Texas, and I figured it was a good way to meet like-minded people. Of the three I signed up for, two of them ended up being a good fit. And then I'm also in … two online-only book clubs. And I occasionally participate in a podcast-based book discussion group. I know it's a problem, but I just love getting book recommendations and reading new things and talking about them!

(Once upon a time in middle school, I actually believed it was possible to read every book in the world and I wanted to do that. I now realize that's ridiculous and impossible, but a little part of me still harbors that irrational fantasy.)

So yeah. I'm a little overwhelmed. I had to create a Stickies note on my computer desktop so I can keep track of what book is coming up next among all these groups. But I'm starting to feel less guilt about putting books down when I'm not enjoying them, because there are just too many other things to read.

Are you in a book club? What is your favorite thing about it? How many is too many, in your opinion? What things did you believe were possible when you were a kid?

*I later clarified that audiobooks do not count in my tally. Because I listen to them in the car on the way to and from work**, and that doesn't overwhelm me at all.
**Oh, right, I got a job! One that's actually kind of in my field! I had someone tell me there were no marketing jobs in this area and that I may as well go back to school and get another degree, so suck on that, snotty girl in the third book club that I didn't end up sticking with!

16 comments

  1. I'm only officially in two book clubs: one online and one that is an annual book club with just two of my best friends. A bit unofficially, I read books my friends are reading in their book club, but have yet to make it to one meeting. I just came off a bad reading break this week. I was having a really hard time getting into anything, so I laid off for a bit and have decided to just put books down that I am not enjoying.

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  2. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJanuary 20, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    wohooo congrats on the job!!! And I can't handle reading more than two books at a time, too much for my heart. I'm in a rather embarrassing book club where we read all of the Teen Mom (from mty, I know judge me) books because they are so ridiculous and fun to make fun of. So that's how I count my two books, one serious book and one completely silly book. :)

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  3. I've tried to be in so many book clubs--informal online as well as meetup-feuled, but I never actually participate. Two different times I've read the book and then the discussion would be at an inconvenient/implausible time for me, sigh... But I like the idea, so I keep looking for one that will fit. So far I've started the book for the current online book club and will hopefully be able to participate in the group discussion. We shall see!

    As for the number of books I read simultaneously? Yeah, that varies. There are at least 3 books in progress on my nightstand and about half a dozen on my Kindle. I'm trying to get through the Kindle backlog before purchasing or starting any new books (book club selection notwithstanding) and so far that's actually working out very well!

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  4. I am in no book clubs unless you count the one I'm kind of in on Goodreads but haven't read any of the books yet. I find that I just want to read what I want to read, and I can never get into being forced to read a certain book just to be part of a group. However, I have always wanted to join a book club! Maybe I should. Also, congrats on your job!

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  5. I love book clubs! I started one at my job last year and we're still going strong. I love having people to talk to about the books I'm reading, and I've definitely read a lot of books outside of my wheelhouse because of our club. It's awesome! I'm thinking of joining another through Meetup, but I've never used the site before. Any tips?

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  6. I hope things are better now after your break. It really sucks not wanting to read.

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  7. Haha, I love that!!! That's such a good idea for a book club!

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  8. Oof, yeah, the Kindle. I'm impressed you have so many going at the same time! I'd be overwhelmed and would get the plotlines confused! I've figured one per medium is a good number for me.

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  9. Goodreads groups count, that's one of mine! Thankfully they only do official book club every other month, though. There have been SO many books that I love that I never would have picked up until someone made me.

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  10. A workplace club! That's awesome. I'm sure there are a lot of book clubs on Meetup in the L.A. area, so you can probably be a little picky. For most "open" clubs (where you don't have to be a member to see previous meetups), you can check out what they've read over the past few months and see if they're reading the kind of genres you generally like, and can go to a few events to see if it's a good fit.

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  11. Yay for getting a new job!!! That is awesome. And audio books are the best way to deal with a commute. I haven't been in a book club since college, but I should! It would be a good way to meet people. I read enough books to easily take it on, I think!

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  12. I need to get some more David Sedaris audiobooks. He's just the best for commuting. :)

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  13. The online book club we share is the first book club I've ever joined! I'm super excited about it and the discussions.

    Regarding multiple books at once: I can't imagine. I can only do one book at once - I think it's because I get so immersed in characters and their worlds that I can't imagine hopping.

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  14. Can I ask how you've found book clubs to join? I'd love to join one but I'm not sure where to start.

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  15. Absolutely!

    The last few real-life book groups I've been in I've found via Meetup.com. It's free to sign up, and you just put in your city or zip code, and choose your mileage radius for clubs, and then choose a category or just type in "book club" in the search bar. (Some groups require dues, but if you join, there's generally a grace period to make sure you actually like the group first.)


    I've also found groups by typing "book club" and "[city]" or "[metro area]" into Google.

    You can also check to see if your local library has any clubs or reading events; even if they don't have a formal book club, you might meet people that have a book group that doesn't happen to have an online presence. Same with asking local friends or neighbors.

    I'm still trying to figure out how the clubs on Goodreads work (I just happened to know a website that was starting a book club and joined it on there), but overall Goodreads Groups kind of overwhelm me since there are SO many options. If you figure that out, let me know!

    Whew, sorry for the novel. :) Good luck finding a group!

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  16. I'm very much a read-what-I-feel-like person. I can be totally immersed in a story, but if I'm not in the mood for it, I end up picking up something different! And when that happens too many times, that's when I get overwhelmed!

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