When you are a book blogger and a book-worm, the idea of being a part of book club either fills you with joy, or dread. Some book enthusiasts love the idea of reading a particular book every month then sharing it with others either via the internet or in person. I admit that I am a terrible bookworm in the fact I came to a point where I began to dislike book clubs and began to steer away from them. I know what you are thinking, how can this be? I know right?! I use to run a bookclub when I was in college, but ever since those glorious days of choosing books from any genre, I haven’t stayed consistent in one. I was even hired to be co-host to a very famous online bookclub (not giving away names) and I completely fell through with doing my part. I never read the book, never participated in the discussion and never was actually a good leader for the group, and it destroyed me that I couldn’t live up to the expectation. I loved books, but I had difficulty leading people in something I wasn’t excited about. I wanted it so badly, but the unfortunate thing was that the bookclub didn’t align with my lifestyle. They met, via the internet, on days I wasn’t free and they chose books I wasn’t interested in reading. I eventually resigned and vowed to never join another bookclub. I was officially done.
Fast forward 5 months later, I found myself in a situation when I became obsessed with reading feminist books (post about those books to come later), and was trying to get my hands on any and every book that empowered me as a female. While browsing the internet late one night, I stumbled upon a post about Emma Watson’s Feminist Book Club aka Our Shared Shelf. In that moment I had two battling emotions, on one hand I was overjoyed with the idea of reading feminist books with other feminists but then my distaste for book clubs was right there with equal enthusiasm. I wanted to join and expand my feminist reading but on the other I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or do well in another book club setting. I was worried that as someone who was just getting into being a feminist activist, I wouldn’t have anything to contribute or that what I said wouldn’t be thoughtful or meaningful. It was my fears that were holding me back to something that could make a huge impact on my life.
After ignoring the group for a few weeks, I gave myself a little pep talk and joined the book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf. I decided that even though I would be behind a month or two and wouldn’t be able to finish the books as quickly as others because of this blog and my life, I wouldn’t let that stop me from joining. After joining, I was excited and proceeded to buy March and April’s picks which are How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (March) and Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés (April). They are quite intimidating books to read and I know they aren’t books I will or want to rush through. The first few weeks were hard but I found myself actually writing in the group chats, and becoming involved in the group. I was eager to talk about what I was reading, enjoying and how the books were sharing my ideals and values.
I finally found a book club that fits with what I was looking for! *praise* I wanted a book club that fit with my lifestyle, and the types of novels I want to read. Our Shared Shelf is a book club on Goodreads, so it’s a digital book club that is continually discussing all the books they have read since the beginning. I can jump into any month with where I am in my reading and actually participate in the discussion, and not feel guilty about not being up to date on the book choices. Also Our Shared Shelf is reading and discussing topics that I am interested in and using as tools to help shape and determine my life and values. As a women in modern America, I consider myself to be a Feminist and I love reading books to help me expand my knowledge and understanding to what that means.
Of course, I know what you are thinking, why this book club? True, there are so many other book clubs out there who dive into every genre, topic or life style out there and there is a book club for everyone, and I just managed to find one that suits mine. I am highly in favor of book clubs and the impact they have on people; you just need to find the right one for you. Whether it is a digital, online, or in person bookclub, you are building a community in the book world and allowing to have relationships with people who share the same interests. Plus you get to, hopefully, read some amazing books. I’m converted, I went from hating them to actually enjoying the time I spending in my bookclub. As long as Our Shared Shelf is around, consider me a loyal member, and I am eager to see what the future books we will get to read.
If you are interested in joining Our Shared Shelf, here is the link below:
Leave a comment below if you are in Our Shared Shelf or a different book club. Also feel free to let me know what kind of posts you guys would like to see or books you would like me to review.