4 Reasons to Keep Your Book Club Online

At this time last year, I wrote a post in favor of book clubs moving online due to COVID. I heard from a few folks who didn’t like that format for various reasons like members talking over each other or technology glitches.

I get it, the transition to living life almost completely online was rough for me too. There’s nothing like being in the middle of a tearful therapy session via FaceTime and realizing my therapist couldn’t hear me for the last twenty seconds. But there are definitely perks to going virtual, especially living in a rural area like I do.

Pre-COVID, my book club met at a local coffee shop once a month. Now that people are getting vaccinated and our region is opening up again, I’ve debated whether I will transition the group back to meeting in real life and I don’t see that happening any time soon.

I understand it’s tempting to folks to get back to normal as much as possible. For me, recovering from pandemic life is about taking what worked for me during that time into my new normal. Virtual book club is one of those things, along with curbside pickup from stores!

4 Reasons to Keep Your Book Club Online

  1. Safety

It’s important to realize that “safe” is subjective right now. A situation that feels safe to one person might seem risky to another. Some people have to go to meetings for work and want to minimize how much they do that in their personal life. Several of us in my book club have chronic health issues and want to keep risk to a minimum. Keeping your book club online respects those who aren’t ready to venture out much yet.

2. Larger pool for attendees

Right now, my book club has members in three different states and two time zones. We’ve had members join in from all over the country on different occasions. I’ve also had authors join for our discussions. This wouldn’t be possible if we only met in the local coffee shop. Keeping your book club online makes it accessible to people no matter where they live.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

3. Gives members flexibility

Sometimes people can attend an online meeting when they wouldn’t feel up to leaving the house. Bad weather, health reasons, or lack of child care can keep someone home from a physical book club meeting but not affect a virtual one. Keeping your book club online gives your members room to deal with their life and still show up.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

4. Minimal obligation

All my club members need to do is read the book and show up. Finishing the book isn’t even a requirement! If you hate it, I’m not going to expect you to power through. But I would like you to show up and talk about what didn’t work for you. Keeping your book club online eliminates anyone needing to host or provide refreshments and you don’t have to decide where to meet.

So what do you think? Are you itching to meet up in person again or do you enjoy your book club being online?

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