Now that some of our usual social outings have been momentarily called off because of COVID-19, we’re here to show you that men have book clubs, too! Right now, we’re watching communities around the world looking to learn from other people’s experiences, engage in new ideas, and develop deeper connections, and books can be the ultimate tool to help us all gain understanding and spark new ideas.
If you’re a book-loving guy, we think it’s high time you grab a group of your closest friends, colleagues or family members, pick up a good read, and engage in insightful book discussions. And, given that reading is a solitary act, and conversations can be had easily from the comforts of home, a book club is ideal in a time of social distancing.
So, how can you go about creating a book club for men? It's not as complicated as you might think! Just follow a few simple steps, make a handful of decisions and get in the mood to do some reading.
First Things First: Reading Is Manly
Doing just a little Internet exploration, there's a cohort of people who seem to want to convince you that book clubs are a feminine pastime, with some people going so far as to suggest that your book club should be named something like the "Literary Domination Society." While it's perfectly fine to call your reading group whatever you like, we'd like to offer up a simple truth - anything a man does is manly!
Now that that's out of the way and we can start from a space of equality, the man book club of your dreams might want to tackle some titles that address issues of gender stereotyping and how it affects both men and women. Tackle these outdated ideas head-on by grabbing your favorite beer-guzzling, football-watching gang of guys and form a book group with Culture Carton. With both a book-only or a book+lifestyle products monthly box, you can work towards becoming a gentleman who reads and dabbles in all forms of manly sophistication.
Purpose or Pleasure?
As with all book groups, you'll need to start by figuring out what you'd all like to gain from the group and let that help you direct your next steps. Some groups will feel more motivated to read by having a specific purpose, like reading the titles topping the New York Times bestseller list, exploring a wide variety of male authors, or working through a pre-established reading list that centers on a particular area of interest, like sports, fatherhood, or business management.
Groups made up of natural book lovers who enjoy reading may be in it strictly for the sake of entertainment. These groups might prefer to take turns choosing titles to get exposed to new books that might not have come across their radar, or they might get a kick out of diving deep into their favorite genres with a little help from book-of-the-month clubs, like My Sci Fi Club or My Thrill Club!, that send books about dystopian worlds and intriguing mysteries.
Everyone Has to Read the Book
This goes without saying, right? Well, if you're starting your very first reading group or your book club members are not avid readers, it's best to be forthcoming about even the most basic of expectations. To keep everyone on the same page, so to speak, it's a good idea to create a reading timeline that details the reading expectations. If you have a designated leader, they can perform a weekly check-in to keep track of how everyone's coming along with their reading, and provide any needed encouragement.
If motivation seems like it could be an issue for your group, you might want to just dive right in and give reading a go, without the pressure of everyone reading the same thing at the same time. Used Books Monthly provides gently-used high-quality stories at a bargain price, so everyone can choose their favorite genre and get a book selected just for them. Eliminating the analysis paralysis of the book choice, and letting each member progress at a natural pace, can help you get a feel for the readers and set your book group up for future success!
Conversation and Cocktails (or Coffee)
Eventually, you'll all get to the good part - heated discussions on the main characters, the arc of the story, the juicy plot twists and the revelations! Whether you're planning an in-person or a virtual meet-up, this is where the real fun starts. Some groups like to start out with rating the book on a scale from 1 to 10. This can help to place you in either the "loved it" or the "hated it" camp and show you who you can lean on when your argument needs some reinforcement. Other groups like to have topics or themes lined up, so everyone can use their own crib notes to help them make their points.
And, it's important to remember that book clubs are about reading and socializing, so it's the perfect time to share your thoughts and opinions over a cocktail or a coffee. Take a cue from The Intoxicated Intellectual, a unique monthly book box that sends a classic novel and an inspired craft cocktail recipe along with all the necessary drink fixings. Get the monthly box shipped to each individual member, read the book, and celebrate making it to the end with freshly-mixed literary libations.