From the God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same Book Blog Tour…
I love book clubs. Being around books inspires me to read, reading inspires me to write and book clubs encourage an exchange of ideas that I couldn’t possible get on my own. So, as both a reader and author, I am a huge supporter of book clubs in general. Also, as a reader and an author, I have joined a few book clubs, both online and in person. Which is better? It depends on what you want to get out of them, but if you’re ready to join a new book club here as a few things to consider:
Cyberspace – It’s hard to imagine a cyber social gathering being better than a face to face one, but online has its advantages and the meeting location is one of them. For instance, you can be in the comfort of your own home, on vacation, on the beach or wherever you happen to be and still keep your commitment to the book club. As long as there is a phone and internet connection, you choose your own location.
Face to Face – Having the ability to meet, greet and mingle is very freeing. Part of the fun of book club meetings is the extra socializing, such as going out to dinner, movies, and shopping, that can be done during and/or after the meeting. Experiencing commonalities of setting, food, drink and atmosphere is an irreplaceable benefit of “being there.”
Cyberspace – The number of members allowed to join is practically endless and having a large online presence is very beneficial. Every member will not necessarily be interested in every book or take part in every discussion. However, because of the sheer number of members, each book club meeting should have a pretty good turnout with the potential for a great discussion. Another benefit for a cyberspace book club is the diversity of its members, which can span across the globe. This increases the range for new perspectives and insightful ideas, both of which make for great book club discussions.
Face to Face – Diversity is a great attribute in book clubs, but so is having the ability to connect personally. Many book club members are or become close friends and these friendships often extend to include other family members. In addition, it’s easier to have individual voices heard as far as book club picks and opinions, something that is much more difficult with online clubs.
Cyberspace – The rule of thumb is this, if it’s online then it’s not private. That may not be an issue for anyone who routinely and openly shares on online social networks. After all, it’s just a discussion about books, so privacy may not be a concern.
Face to Face – In person book clubs are largely private or, at least, not meant for an unknown audience. Chances are you won’t see your face, comments or have recordings of yourself appear online without your permission. For some, not knowing who you’re sharing your opinions with can be a book club deal breaker.