Opening a book club has more than five benefits, but opening one in your local book shop has five specific ones that can help to improve the community in which you live.
Meet Like-Minded People in Your Area
Meeting like-minded people in your area is first on our list because even though book lovers have interests in different genres, the fact that they also enjoy reading is what you have in common.
Often in today’s world, we can live in an area for years and not really know who our neighbors are. If there is a local book shop and you can set up a book club there, you may get to know the people in your area better, and you might become friends and not just book club friends.
Get News on the Latest Publications
Being in a book club is not just about reading books and discussing them, and it’s not just about finding gems you otherwise wouldn’t have read. It’s also about getting news on the latest publications.
The publishing industry has undergone many changes since eReaders and self-publication were born. What still holds is the gravitas that the publishing industry has. Authors who get publishing deals can be entered into awards and travel the book festival circuit.
As wonderful as self-publication is, getting a publishing contract is still a big deal, and with the contract comes entire business departments, like marketing, for example, that will ship news on a book to markets around the globe.
Related: Working with Book Clubs
Local book clubs can often learn about the latest publications because they are on marketing lists or because the owners of the book shop have subscribed to the latest news.
Your local book shop may even become one, if it isn’t already, where you can have events, like book-inspired holidays, or become included on a book tour circuit. Imagine having your favorite writer come to your local bookstore to sign copies of books.
No matter how big or small a book shop is, it can thrive and become a player in the industry if it is well-supported. By having a book club at your local, you might just put it on that circuit.
Support local businesses
By having a book club at a local book shop, you support the business. It is a simple fact but an important one as book shops today have serious competition with online sellers who can undercut prices.
The book shop in your area has to pay rent or a mortgage, running costs, and of course, design a space that people would like to spend time in. Instead of having a book club at a coffee shop or in someone’s home, have it at your local book shop. In so doing, you support it and keep it open.
What is recommended is that the book club doesn’t limit itself to just meeting at their local bookstore. There are benefits to having your book club at other places in the community. To do so, you need a community and not just people living in the same area behind walls or fences who otherwise don’t interact.
Build a Community
Getting to know fellow book lovers by opening a book club is a good way of building a community. It’s not just the making of individual friends. It’s also about forming a group that can offer support as well as friendship.
Supporting each other’s businesses in the local community is one such example. Perhaps by getting to know each other better, they build a community. It is no longer a number of people who all live in the same area, it is now a community that knows each other and potentially shares interests. You might find that the book club meets on another night at a local restaurant or over a meal at a member’s home after having gotten to know each other at their local book shop.
Members can learn about what each other does and where their businesses are and might find that their own clientele expands because of the community being built by local clubs, such as a book club.
Encourage Yourself and Others to Read
The number one benefit of having a book club at your local book shop is that you will have to read more. It’s easy in today’s world for the habit of reading to slip away. By scheduling a book club and setting reading goals, you can enjoy reading more regularly.
When others see you read, they might just pick up the same habit or even wonder why they don’t read. Simply seeing someone read a lot is good for the hobby itself. For children, watching an adult read is a very good way of teaching the same habit.
There are many benefits to being in a book club, but having one at your local book shop is an excellent way of supporting local businesses and building a community in your area. If there isn’t one at your local book shop, why not suggest having one there and asking the book shop to help set it up?