Take Two: Bring Back the Book Club

“What’s your favorite book?” This simple question, usually sparks a larger conversation on reading as a whole. As high school students, we hardly have the time to read books for our own enjoyment and instead scan Sparknotes to pass the tests on the literary classics we are taught in school. Not having been able to truly enjoy a book in years, the question becomes much harder to answer. 

With homework, extra curricular activities and social lives taking up most of teenagers lives, books are left to be forgotten at the end of a long list of priorities. The repercussions of not reading will be faced in college, when English classes will demand that you not only know how to read, but also analyze what the books mean.

There’s an easy solution to this madness: book clubs. While these clubs are often negatively associated with middle-aged stay-at-home moms with nothing but time, they offer so much more than a reason to gossip with your friends over wine and cheese. In an era of technology, book clubs can be a fun way to motivate yourself to put the phone down and pick a book up.

Having scheduled book club meetings forces you to take the initiative and make reading a part of your schedule. No longer will reading be something you resort to only when you’ve exhausted every other option. However, as reading should above all be an activity you enjoy, you should be careful to not let the book club become just like another school reading assignment that you only glance over. Instead, you should take advantage of the time to read while simultaneously hanging out with friends at a cafe of your choice.

Beyond that, it also involves discussion, which sometimes can be essential to understanding books. By hearing all the different opinions others may have on the same passages, you can learn a lot and further develop your opinion. There’s just something added to the experience of reading a book when you are able to share and discuss it with others.

It may be hard to believe, especially when there is a plethora of other past times to choose from, but reading can be fun. Gather a group of friends, find a cute spot to meet, choose a book from a list of “100 life changing novels” or “best vampire romances” (really anything that will get you excited to read) and get started. It’s as simple as judging a book by its cover.