How joining a book club transformed my reading habits
I love reading, however, in the past I’ve struggled to make it a consistent habit, instead finding myself preoccupied with work, study, and a myriad of other things (i.e. season 3 of Ozark).
I think our best intentions to read regularly can go awry when we treat books like an afterthought: something to pick up and skim for a short while before drifting off to sleep. And while I consider reading before bed to be an essential part of my nightly routine, it typically involves my collapsing into bed and falling asleep one paragraph in, Kindle in hand. Sure, it’s better than falling asleep with my phone in hand (something I have, unfortunately, done many times), but it doesn’t make sure for a very satisfying reading experience.
Recently, though, I noticed a change when a few friends and I decided to start a book club. We meet (via Zoom) fortnightly and dedicate approximately 2 meetings per book: the first to discuss our initial thoughts, and the second to share our final thoughts. Now, a few months in, I can confidently say that it’s been an incredibly positive experience. Not only have I been able to tick off some of the novels on my seemingly endless Goodreads list, but it’s also enabled me to throw myself back into reading, with a mission and a purpose. What’s more, I get to discuss the books I read with a group of people who have shared in the experience, making it both an intellectual and a social activity.
Ultimately, I’ve realised that I never fell out of love with reading, I just wasn’t making time for it. If, like me, you’ve ever felt frustrated with your poor reading habits, my advice would be to re-evaluate your relationship with reading, and where it fits into your life. I’m not saying it’s easy, because truth be told, we’re all busy, and our priorities shift and change like seasons. But it can be done, and it’s not as daunting as you might expect.