All over Sydney, people are gathering in bars, cafes, houses and libraries to chat about their latest novel. They're sharing the delights of Hemingway and Dickens, the frustrations of Winton, and collectively puzzling over the confusions of Rushdie. They're leading each other into new and unexplored reading territories, discovering and embracing (or rejecting) new authors. Dare I mention it, but some are even getting together just to have a good gossip about all the reasons they didn't get around to reading the book that month.
Joining a book club is a great way to meet new friends in your area and expand your reading repertoire. It's fun, free and easy. All you have to do is find a club that matches your location and reading preferences.
Check out your local library. Many organise book clubs, and others have notice boards where book clubs seeking new members can advertise.
Search online. Book clubs currently advertised on www.meetup.com in Sydney include The Last Tuesday Book Club; The Sydney Book-to-Film Adaption Group; Twenty-Something's Contemporary Literature Lovers; and Sci-Fi Monthly.
If you're excited by the idea of having your literature tastes expanded, but you're not so sure about the social side, maybe the ABC's First Tuesday Book Club is more your style. This televised book club generally has some fascinating guests. Their formula is to do one classic and one contemporary novel, and they advertise their choices well in advance so you've got plenty of time to read the books before the show.
Virtual book clubs might be less personal, but can be more exciting in terms of international diversity and easier to fit into your busy schedule at a time that suits you. Use Google to search for an online book club that fits with your interests, for example:http://www.arbookclub.com/
If all else fails, you can always set up your own club. Get a few friends who like reading to commit, then look for new members by advertising online and / or at your local library. A great way to ensure your first meeting is a success, is to ask everyone you invite to bring at least one friend with them.
Also, some local libraries have 'book club kits' where you can borrow 10-12 copies of the same book all at once, and they include some ideas for discussion questions.
By Jacky Bailey - senior reviewer Saturday, 23rd of July @ 12:56 am
Great post Jacky. I am from TheReadingRoom.com and we are giving a book club in Sydney the chance to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Jodi Picoult exclusively. We do this to share in the love of books.
By Anonymous Monday, 9th of July @ 07:13 am
Thanks for the posting. There are also book clubs for both the Sydney CBD and the lower north shore on the social webiste facetime.com.au