Sometimes, the best part about reading a book is the community around it. Book clubs have been a staple of reading books for near as long as the books themselves. Yet, in recent times of social distancing, it can feel much harder to connect into these larger populations of book readers. Many book clubs have had to cancel their in-person meetings, even as one of the few perks of quarantine is the increased ability to read. Thankfully, the literary community is an adaptable one. Many groups have already found ways to transition book clubs to a virtual affair and are eager to expand their conversations to anyone ready to join. Below, you can find just a few examples of book clubs already ready for a new, virtual reality. Check out part one here, if you haven’t already.
image via la times
The Los Angeles Times Book Club is returning in a new virtual set-up. Their first meet-up will be on March 30th with authors Steph Cha and Joe Ide.
On the first Tuesday of every month, a theme or author is put to a public vote by the Guardian. The book is then chosen by the outcome of these votes. Sam Jordison, a well-known reader and publisher, then hosts an online discussion every Tuesday where he explains the book’s history, researches any questions the audience asks and, potentially even, arranges live chats with the author.
image via silent book club
This may or may not have been in part one, too. You can’t blame us, we’re big fans. In 2012, Laura Gluhanich and Guinevere de la Mare founded this book club as a potential outlet for introverts. The club has been succeeding wildly since, as it has grown to 260 chapters around the world in 31 countries. In a typical chapter meeting, members read whatever book they’ve brought for an hour silently. After, they share what they casually share what they learned. For now, they’ve gone virtual.
This weekly Zoom series is run by six European publishing houses. The participating houses switch off presenting a book from their catalogs to their audience. Their first call is today, March 26. The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke is being presented, a family drama set before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
image via quarantine book club
The Quarantine Book Club has been using the increased time indoors to their full advantage. Every weekday since March 16, t, the club has hosted two Zoom talks each day with varying authors. Erika Hall and Mike Monteiro, two designers who live in San Francisco, founded the book club when their work opportunities dried up; their audience soon expanded beyond the circle of friends they’d imagined taking part in.
In an interview with TIME, Monteiro says, “People want human connection. They’re bored, they’re freaked out. So you get on here and you talk to somebody who’s really good in their field.”
Monteiro seems to be onto something. Hundreds of people have been paying the small admissions fees to listen to authors and ask them questions. The Quarantine Book Club plans to run twice a day for however long the quarantine lasts, with proceeds going to the authors as well as Monteiro and Hall’s design studio. The science fiction author and journalist Cory Doctorow will be featured on April 1.
Of course, beyond any of these options, there’s no better time to organize your own book club. Reach out to some book-loving friends and see what you can create! With a bit of ambition and a good wifi connection, just about any sort of book club can still be made possible.
feature image via book giving day
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