Book Club 4 Dummies
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Tips & tricks for being an informed and curious book club member.
ID: (left to right) Stephanie, Ellen, Lauren & Morgan sitting on a ledge passing books to one another, including Bell Hooks' All About Love and Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Representations of book clubs in the media are few and far between, but my most recent (and potentially only) brush with a film on the subject was Bill Holderman’s 2018 romantic comedy Book Club featuring Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda. The film follows four retired close friends through their exploration of the Fifty Shades of Grey series in their book club, which ultimately enriches their marriages and bonds the friends closer to one another. I will save my formal critique of the movie for a later date :-)
Though Book Club and Hardcover Hotties may appear more different than similar, the film’s portrayal of book club as an environment that cultivates opportunity for learning, collaboration, empathy and community is admirable. Hardcover Hotties strives to be this type of book club for all people from a diverse array of educational and cultural backgrounds (not limited to retirees or married women).
At first glance, book club can look intimidating. If you are considering joining, here are some common questions that we get from book club newbies and all the reasons why it’s worth it:
How does it work?
Hardcover Hotties chooses a new book each month that explores different genres and cultural perspectives, with topics relating to respective heritage and cultural awareness months taking precedence.
The monthly book pick is announced at the beginning of each month with group discussion taking place at 5pm on the first Sunday of the following month. Members are welcome to join meetings either in-person (if local to Columbus, OH) or virtually (it doesn’t matter where you are in the world). You don’t have to sign up or even have read the book – just show up, if you’d like!
You can find updates on our Instagram page @hardcoverhotties or on this website.
What is the time commitment and workload like?
This isn’t school, dummy! The level of commitment is up to the individual. Read when you want, show up to discussion when you have the time and share when you are comfortable.
Between the book announcement and discussion dates, Hardcover Hotties are allowed one month to read the BOTM (book of the month) (if you want) and to finish it (if you get there).
Check out our post on book accessibility to learn about the many ways you can get your hands on a good book!
Tips for preparing for meetings?
Keep track of any thoughts & questions that arise
Make note of quotes or passages that spark interest
Reflect on how the book relates to your own life experiences
Find room for topics to be explored further and seek out answers you are missing
Consider other books or alternative forms of media that you have interacted with on similar topics
Why should I join book club?
Like Book Club, Hardcover Hotties will grant you the opportunity to meet and connect with a myriad of Really Cool People. We work hard to cultivate a space in which friendships can strengthen and deepen by way of mutual learning, both from the literature and from one another. Hotties are always encouraged to offer insights from their own areas of personal study, cultural learnings and relevant anecdotes – growing in intercultural competence, public speaking, relationship building and other important skills that can be applied elsewhere.
Most importantly, our book club strives to make learning fun again! Contrary to popular belief, reading does not always look the way it does in academic settings, which can bare the risk of adding rigidity and necessity to the purity of one's childlike admiration for the imaginative, limitless world of books.
You don’t have to love reading to join Hardcover Hotties, but you do need to be open, curious and driven by the desire to better know the world we live in – and you may find yourself loving reading after all.
Did we forget something?
DM us on instagram @hardcoverhotties or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.