Five Compelling Reasons to Join a Book Club

This is an essay by Deanna Zachrich.

Book clubs are everywhere. Libraries, schools, churches, even online. Find one near you and join.

Here’s five reasons why you should:

One. Exposure to books you might otherwise never pick up.

There are more than sixty different genres out there for books. Fantasy, and thrillers, and mysteries, oh my! So many topics to choose from and so little time. Unfortunately most of us pick up the same kind of books over and over again. Maybe it’s habit or maybe we just fear the unfamiliar. Joining a book club will help you expand your portfolio of book choices.

The key is to join a group that isn’t filled with all of your best friends. If you surround yourself with strangers, you’ll be exposed to many different kinds of literature. I’ve read several genres now including romance, thriller, horror, biographical, self-help, young adult, religious, and even erotica. Most of them I’ve thoroughly enjoyed!

Two. Finish more books.

I assume I’m not alone when I admit that I haven’t always finished every book I started reading. But in book club, you have a deadline. You have an obligation to finish reading the assigned material because you don’t want to be the only one unable to participate in the discussion. And, you don’t want to appear to be a lazy bum for not finishing it either.

A few months ago I started reading a novel based on a true story set in World War I. The first few chapters were very dry and boring to me, but because of book club I kept reading. It turned out to be one of the best stories I’ve ever read!

Three. Improve your vocabulary.

With today’s high-tech gadgetry, I constantly catch myself using slang and shortening words when texting and emailing my friends and family. (How r u? Whatsup? C u round. <3 u!) Better vocabulary turned out to be an unexpected perk. My friends actually noticed before I did. Suddenly I was using grown-up words in conversation! Just a week ago I learned what skullduggery means. What a fantastic word!

Four. You’re a bookworm, not a hermit.

Let’s face it, being a bookworm can have its social drawbacks. Cuddling up with a good story either in print or on my snazzy e-reader on a Saturday night is much more appealing than a lot of other options out there.

Joining a book club is my kind of social gathering. I meet new people, discuss topics that don’t normally come up in a typical conversation (because they’re in the book), and there’s usually great snacks and wine. What’s not to like?

Five. It’s free!

There isn’t much to do these days that is completely free. Going to see a movie runs me $20 easily. A ticket to the zoo for the day will cost me almost $30. Joining a book club for an entire year requires no money from me at all. Even the books chosen to be read each month can be borrowed from a local library or one of my book club buddies.

I’ve read several books recently that have been made into movies. The books have been wonderfully written and a joy to read. Unfortunately, the movies have been nothing but disappointment. Maybe it’s because so much is usually cut from the movie script. But why do they have to cut all the good parts of the story? Give me a free borrowed book over a $20 movie any time.

I will continue to enjoy reading books in as many different genres as possible with my book club. Each title is a different adventure for me that I get to share with new friends. My book club has also been the incentive for me to finish many books in a short amount of time, which has also improved my vocabulary. Book clubs are fun and free; a winning combination for this reader.

Do you belong to a book club? What’s your favorite part?


Deanna Zachrich is happily married, enjoys being the educational coach to her e-schooled daughter, and absolutely loves to write. She writes to express her passions for keeping this planet healthy and has contributed to online magazines and blogs. Deanna reads a lot, likes to dig in the dirt among her various gardens, and believes that teaching our children about green-responsibility should begin in kindergarten, if not sooner.

Photo: Some rights reserved by juggernautco.


  1. Jessica McCann (@JMcCannWriter)

    Great points! I’ve never been part of a book club, but you’ve sold me on exploring the opportunity. I have enjoyed talking books through the social media site, but face-to-face discussion like you address in #4 sounds pretty great. Thanks!

    1. Deanna Zachrich

      Hi Jessica!
      I also love It’s a wonderful way to keep track of all my “to read” books. And being able to read what others like or dislike about a novel is great.
      I hope you find a book club that clicks with you. My book club buddies are some of my favorite people 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. Francine Garson @francinegarson

    As a longtime member of two book groups, I absolutely agree with you, Deanna! Over the years, our discussions have consistently been lively, thought-provoking, and always interesting. My life has been enriched in so many ways by reading, and book groups provide a way to share a passion and learn from others.

    1. Deanna Zachrich

      Nice to meet another book club advocate, Francine.

      “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
      ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

  3. Chris

    A book club isn’t something I’ve tried, but your arguments are pretty convincing. I do tend to avoid some genres…

    1. Deanna Zachrich

      Hi Chris!
      There are some genres I don’t care to read as well. But being a part of a book club has actually expanded my interests. I’ve read several books I would never have chosen on my own and I’ve found more genres I enjoy now.
      I hope you join a book club and give it a try. You can find one through your local library or even online.
      Happy reading!

  4. Christina Hamlett

    Excellent points all around! Although my current schedule precludes me from getting together in person once or twice a months with a group of kindred spirits,there are lots of fun discussion groups that can be tapped into online. What’s so enriching about the experience of a book club is that every participant brings a different frame of reference to the characters and themes and, thus, encourages fellow readers to examine the material from other perspectives.

    1. Deanna Zachrich

      Hi Christina.
      I agree with you about discussion groups. There are even chatrooms specific to reading and writing. With the wonders of the internet the possibilities are endless in finding others who enjoy analyzing a good book as much as I do.
      Your last sentence sums it all up brilliantly!

  5. Jennifer King

    I love your point, you’re a bookworm, not a hermit. So true! There are so many benefits to talking about books. Thanks for talking them up here — it’s a great article, Deanna!

    1. Deanna Zachrich

      Glad you enjoyed the article, Jennifer.
      I could talk about books for hours. It’s always nice to meet another person who appreciates them as much as I do.

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