Why Your Book Club Should Meet Online

Social distancing has put our lives on hold. Several events I was looking forward to have already been cancelled and I suspect I’ll learn about more in the next few weeks.

Despite the chaos, I’m trying to hold on to any bit of “normalcy” I can. After about ten days of lounging around in despair, I needed to put some structure back in my days. I schedule video calls with my writing partner for Monday mornings, I FaceTime with my therapist at our standing appointment time, I try to schedule one thing a day to give me something to look forward to. I made a list of the things that must be included in my days for me to thrive and I make sure I cross them all off each day: exercise, getting outside, connecting with others, eating meals, writing, reading, and sleeping well (which means not staying up late watching Netflix.)

As more and more events were cancelled, the thought of nixing my book club meetings didn’t sit right with me. Fortunately there’s an easy solution online! Even before the shelter in place order was issues, I’d decided to hold our upcoming meetings via Zoom. I don’t want anyone to have to choose between their health and a good book discussion!

If you have a book club meeting coming up, I encourage you to not cancel and meet up online. 

Don’t be intimidated by the technology, regardless of your age or experience online. There’s a learning curve for everyone, and it just takes a little trial and error to find out what works best for you.

Here’s me figuring out how to take a screen shot on my laptop

 

Why Your Book Club Should Meet Online

 

Video calls are almost as good as being together in person.

I use Zoom for my book club. Other options for group video calls are Skype, Google Hangouts or Discord. Most of these platforms charge for this service, although many are offering reduced fees or free services during this time of social distancing.

The group video meeting allows us to see and hear each other in real time, and the vibe wasn’t any different from out in person discussions. There’s also the option to turn off your camera or mute your microphone.

Members can join in no matter where they are.

Since we usually meet in person, my book club consists of local friends. Now that we’ve moved to Zoom meetings, I’ve invited friends from all over the country. Anyone can join regardless of what time zone they’re in.

No one has to bring anything or host.

No need to worry about what snacks to serve or wine to bring. Heck, you don’t even have to wear pants if you keep your camera focused upward!

Book club discussions are too important to miss.

If your members make meetings a priority in person, they will do so online too. Book talk is intellectually stimulating, which let’s be honest we all need right about now. It’s also forges connections, motivates you to read more, and it’s just plain fun!


I hope these tips make your online book club meeting easier. I’d love to hear about your club’s experiences.

Happy reading!

 

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