Why Book Clubs Matter

We live for stories. Throughout human history, the telling and retelling of tales has enriched and fulfilled lives. From cave paintings depicting grand hunting adventures to Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land today, we seek out the exploits of others and in so doing we learn more about ourselves. Those stories become more alive when we share them with other people.

While reading a good book is enriching in and of itself, a deeper appreciation and connection comes from sharing and comparing your ideas with others. We find new ways of looking at things, new pathways into character and story that, left to our own devices, we may not discover. 

Now, some folks have gotten into the habit of denigrating book clubs, which makes no sense to me. I mean, are some groups more about getting together with friends, drinking adult beverages, and shooting the breeze? Maybe. Probably. But what is wrong with that? In a time when movies, live theatre, and other forms of entertainment are seriously curtailed, where do we go to get stories? And more importantly, some real people-time?

So whether your aim is a deeper appreciation of the written word, or to gain back some of the social interactions the last two years have taken from us, finding and becoming a part of a book group is an important and vital part of living.