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Why You Should Start a Mini Book Club

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

Earlier this year, two of my friends, Olivia and Ava, and I started a little book club fully on a whim. The three of us are all avid readers, but with the busyness of life, it’s often hard to find the time and motivation to do so. I know for myself its been hard since I work two jobs and am a full-time student (not to mention how my ADHD can make it difficult to focus for long periods of time). After chatting about one of the newest books by Christopher Paolini, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, we decided to start the book together, not realizing what we were getting ourselves into.

Our first book took us about two months to finish, considering that I was finishing spring quarter and the book is almost 900 pages. Olivia and I picked up the audiobook version, while Ava stuck with physical copies. We’d meet after finishing each part of the book, talking about our theories, what we liked and what we thought about the direction it was headed. As we neared the end of the book, we discussed what we would pick next.

I figured when we started that we’d probably wind up fizzling out after a book or two, so I followed the go-big-or-go-home ideology and picked my favorite book, the 1001 page epic novel The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Since finals week was nearing and I had read it many times already, I sat this one out, still participating in the discussions. After that, we read two of Olivia’s favorite childhood books, Artemis Fowl and The Taggerung. Next was Ava’s choice, The Stand, which was quite possibly the book that took us the longest. These books finished what we call our first ’round,’ which had a book that was new for us all, then one choice for each of us (two in Olivia’s case, since Ava and I both picked massive books).

We agreed on the idea of doing themed rounds after this, where we each pick our choice based on an agreed prompt. We’re currently halfway done with this second round, with our new book being Good Omens, and our current theme being Childhood Nostalgia. We think we’ll do cheesy romance books next. Other themes we’ve discussed are sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, fairy tale retellings, so-bad-it’s-good, and short but sweet reads.

Starting this book club has been incredibly enjoyable to me. Not only does it encourage me to read and make sure that I actually do, lest I need to make my friends wait, but it allows me to stay in contact with my friends since we live hours apart. I’ve gotten to read books that I likely never would have picked up, and I get to share books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. We’ve also been making plans to attend Dragonsteel 2023, a convention hosted by Brandon Sanderson, with the visiting author Christopher Paolini. All three of us are incredibly excited for this chance to take a road trip together and meet the authors of the first two books we read together.

I’m glad that our club didn’t fizzle out like I was worried it would. We’ve been keeping it up for about six months now, with us just now starting our eighth book overall. This is a low-stakes, fun, and simple idea that I highly recommend for any group of friends looking to read more, have an excuse to call every week, and branch out from their usual genre of book.

secondary education major and creative writing minor. frog enthusiast, dog mom, and plant collector.