Entertainment 10 Virtual Book Clubs You Can Join Now—And How to Start Your Own

06:55  26 march  2020
06:55  26 march  2020 Source:   time.com

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Many book clubs have sprung up to connect readers during social distancing. Here are several you can join , and some tips for building your own . And finally, remember that the most important thing right now is to bring people together and lift each other up. If you lose track of the topic at hand, well

Books clubs are an excellent motivator while expanding the worth you get from reading a book on your own . You receive the benefit of a diverse range of From there, discussion will naturally occur which has enough differing perspective and viewpoints to make things compelling and interesting.

With movies, concerts, bar trivia night and other live events canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, more and more people seem to be turning to literature to pass the time. Last week, TIME published a list of 30 books to hunker down with, from The Passage trilogy to Colson Whitehead’s Zone One.

a group of people posing for a photo: A screenshot from Quarantine Book Club, which hosts two sessions every week day. © Mike Monteiro A screenshot from Quarantine Book Club, which hosts two sessions every week day.

While literature on its own offers solace and distraction, it can also become the backbone of community. Over the past few weeks, many digital book clubs have sprouted up across the globe, allowing people to interact with their favorite authors, discuss thorny moral questions or just see other human faces. “It’s like the book is an excuse for people to connect and look at other people,” Mike Monteiro, the co-founder of Quarantine Book Club, says.

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Looking for a fun way to enjoy books and meet new people? Start a book club ! But there is more to starting a book club than you might think. To help you make sure your book club is on point, here is a short guide about how to start a book club to help you make yours perfect.

I'm starting a virtual book club , right here on my YouTube channel! I hope you are interested in joining me! The discussion video for this month's book will be If you have any suggestions for upcoming book club selections, please leave the title of the book and author's name in the comments!

Here are some of the most notable book clubs that will continue to offer online events going forward. Meanwhile, TIME books editor Lucy Feldman offers some tips about how to start your own community around reading.


While it might be an ideal time to finally crack open Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the 1,200-page epic is a daunting task to take on alone. The author Yiyun Li is currently leading a pilgrimage through the novel on the independent publisher A Public Space’s social media channels. “I have found that the more uncertain life is, the more solidity and structure Tolstoy’s novels provide,” Li wrote in her introductory post. “In these times, one does want to read an author who is so deeply moved by the world that he could appear unmoved in his writing.”

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How to Start a Club . Clubs are great ways to connect people with similar interests. If you 've ever dreamed of starting your own club , you can easily Once your club is established, you could meet at members’ homes and rotate through a schedule so everyone is responsible for hosting a meeting.

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The group started last week, but you can easily catch up even if you haven’t started: they’re only reading 12-15 pages a day, and will continue for several months.

DC Reads

While all the physical locations of the DC Public Library are closed, the library’s book club has moved to Twitter. Over the past week, the library has hosted a discussion about Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High, about a high school student and mother who dreams of becoming a chef. The next discussion question will be posted on March 28 at 2 p.m., and then on April 4.

Quarantine Book Club

Every weekday since March 16, the Quarantine Book Club has hosted two Zoom talks daily with a variety of authors, from Myriam Gurba to Heather B. Armstrong. Mike Monteiro and Erika Hall, two designers who live in San Francisco, started the club when their own work opportunities dried up; their audience quickly ballooned beyond their circle of friends.

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This book club gave my team the opportunity to immerse in the cultivation of exploration and collaboration. It was motivational for the sales Now , if you ’re open to the idea of starting your own book club — I have some recommendations. You could give someone a book and hope that they

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“People want human connection. They’re bored, they’re freaked out,” Monteiro tells TIME. “So you get on here and you talk to somebody who’s really good in their field.”

Monteiro says that over 200 people paid the $5 admission on Tuesday to listen to the graphic designer Aaron Draplin and ask him questions; the conversations have often extended past the books and toward the world at large. The Quarantine Book Club will continue twice a day for as long as people remain at home, with proceeds going to the authors as well as Monteiro and Hall’s design studio. The science fiction author and journalist Cory Doctorow arrives on April 1.

The Stranger’s Quarantine Club

The Seattle-based publication The Stranger is hosting a reading and discussion of Albert Camus’ The Plague, a Nobel Prize winner written in 1947 in which an epidemic sweeps through a town on the Algerian coast. “Its relevance lashes you across the face,” Stephen Metcalf wrote in the LA Times on Monday. In the first week of the book club, dozens of readers from Mexico City to Ann Arbor sent in pictures of their reading chairs. The club will complete the book on March 30.

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Silent Book Club

Guinevere de la Mare and Laura Gluhanich founded this club in 2012 as a potential outlet for introverts. “It provided a place for people to be able to get out of the house and meet up with a group—and not be forced to make awkward happy hour conversation, but to sit quietly for an hour and then chat about books,” de la Mare says. Since then, the club has grown to 260 chapters around the world in 31 countries. These chapters meet, read whatever book they’ve brought for an hour silently, and then share what they’ve learned.

De La Mare hopes that the club, which converted to virtual meet-ups a few weeks ago, can play a similar role for people struggling with living in isolation: “I hope that this provides a way to combat some loneliness,” she says. De La Mare says that in Kansas City, members have formed a tight-knit community and have even been exchanging books by leaving them on each other’s patios. Meanwhile, the chapter in Genoa, Italy, has seen a doubling in participants since the country went on lockdown.

Lez Book Club

For the past two and a half years, the Lez Book Club has been meeting in groups of 12 in pubs in London, providing a space for queer women to meet and share literature. The pivot to virtual meetings in the wake of coronavirus presents both a challenge and an opportunity for founder Eleonore Pratoussy: she wants to keep the meetings safe and intimate while also opening up her community to women around the world.

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“There’s such a thirst from queer women and nonbinary people and trans people to come together,” Pratoussy says. “I’m hoping that this type of virtual book club will break the boundaries, and that any type of physical barrier will be removed so that anyone can join.”

The first virtual meetings will happen on Wednesday and Thursday evening; more information can be found by joining the group’s Instagram. “Reading a book at home alone is one of the small pleasures of life,” Pratoussy says. “Sharing your thoughts and ideas with other people about the book is another small pleasure of life.”

Rebel Book Club

Over the past five years, the Rebel Book Club has grown into a six-city organization with 1,000 active members who come to monthly nonfiction readings from London to Barcelona to Berlin. This month, they’re moving completely online to read and discuss the book #newpower with one of its authors, Jeremy Heimans. The book traces how the internet and social media have upended traditional power structures.

Ben Keene, the club’s co-founder, says that Rebel will continue hosting these monthly virtual book discussions, as well as a daily video chat called Rebel Book Pub, for the foreseeable future. Keene also says that 150 people have signed up for the club’s 14-day reading challenge, which set a goal for participants to finish a book in two weeks.

Lit Hub’s Virtual Book Channel

The Literary Hub is virtually hosting the type of programming that would ordinarily take place in bookstores around the country: book tour events, readings and Q&As. The first episode featured Kevin Nguyen talking about his debut novel New Waves—a heist narrative set inside the New York start-up world.

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Translated Fiction Online Book Club

Six European publishing houses have teamed up to create this weekly Zoom series in which they take turns presenting a book from their catalogs. (The selected titles are sometimes discounted.) First up on March 26 is The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, a family drama set before the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Eric Cervini, a historian of LBGTQ+ politics and culture, has started a book and movie club on his Instagram page that is racking up thousands of views per video. He’s currently reading and discussing James Baldwin’s 1956 Giovanni’s Room, about an American in Paris.

Start Your Own

None of these book clubs may be right for you—or maybe you’d like to form your own community. Below, TIME books editor Lucy Feldman has some tips on how to get started and lead your own discussion.

The book: You can have a good book club discussion about a bad book, but it’s always more fun when members connect to the material (and in these times, who wants to invest energy in a book that feels like homework?). For your first meeting, start with an accessible novel — one with interesting characters, which are often more fun to debate than plot points.

The discussion: The best discussions arise out of questions that are open-ended so everyone can bring their own perspectives and offer more than simple “yes, I agree” or “no, I don’t” answers. As the leader, you’ll want to come prepared with more questions than you might think necessary. It’s also nice to ask a couple members to have a question ready so you can tap them when conversation starts to lag or you notice that they’re not getting involved (this is especially helpful if you have a member on the shy side who wants to participate but feels more comfortable knowing in advance what they’re going to say).

Encourage people to share their personal perspectives, but try to guide everyone to use “I” statements so they don’t accidentally alienate other members—and be prepared to mediate if people disagree.

And finally, remember that the most important thing right now is to bring people together and lift each other up. If you lose track of the topic at hand, well, that probably means you’re having the conversation you need to be having right now.

Sports are about connection and NASCAR delivered that with its virtual race .
Sunday's virtual NASCAR race at Homestead-Miami Speedway wasn't about the racing. (That part was pretty much a wreck-fest.) The iRacing event was about the fact that Mike Joy's voice described the weather conditions and turnout before the race, even if both were simulated and Joy sat six feet away from his FOX NASCAR co-host Jeff Gordon. It was about the fact that the national anthem was sung, even if it was broadcast from a garage. And it was about the fact that Cup drivers were on the track, even if they sat in their home offices behind simulator rigs.

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