In The Club

In the Club 12/23/20

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

We made it, friends. It’s (almost) the end of the year and our final In the Club newsletter of 2020! I would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to thank you all for rocking with me for another year of book clubbing, even if said year did look very, very different than any of us predicted it would back in January. I’d like to wrap up the year with a few brief observations and pieces of advice that I hope we can all take with us as we move into 2021.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Stay safe, hydrated, moisturized, and snackified. I will talk to you all in January when the club resumes with more nibbles, sips, and tips.

To the club!!

Wisdom from the Club

The Club Goes Online

The pandemic rained on just about everyone’s parade as far as gatherings are involved, but book clubs persisted. Some kept things safe with a tiny, socially distanced quaranteam, but lots of you took the club chatter online (hellooo Zoom!). I think many of us have wavered in our capacity to Zoom/Facetime, etc, but I’ve found I still look forward to those chats when they feel low-stakes. If you’re still Zooming, try to create a casual and welcoming environment, the kind where it’s cool if someone didn’t finish or even read the book and just wants to spend some time with fellow book people.

If you don’t have an established book club, find one! If online clubs from celebrities (Reese Witherspoon, Bellerist, the OG Oprah) or news outlets and media companies (Today, Good Morning America, LA Times, Bustle), aren’t your thing, try Instagram book clubs with other “regular” book people. or apps like MeetUp to find locals. Check out these and other tips here.

image of a laptop screen showing a group video call

Libraries and Bookstores Save the Day

Speaking of online book clubs, our favorite institutions went above and beyond to create online spaces for book lovers. Not being able to host in-person groups was surely a bummer, but they made do with a robust offering of online book clubs. If you haven’t tried one out, give it a go! Check out the online events calendar for your local indie, library, or chain bookstore—I for one have my eye on Lovin’ at Loyalty Book Club, a monthly romance book club run by Loyalty Book Store where author Alyssa Cole is a regular! I participated in a few of these and it helped me feel less isolated while living alone in a city that’s still pretty new to me.

Take A Little Space

Another lesson I learned during this wild, wild year is that the act of reading itself was touch and go for a lot of us. Some readers finished more books this year than they have in years, or ever! Some of us DNFed every other book, read at a snail’s pace, or had a tough time picking up books at all. If you haven’t already embraced this idea, let me be the one to say it: it’s okay to change the frequency of book club, to skip a month, or to just bow out of book clubs until you’re ready. As readers, we often feel pressured to always stay reading, but news flash: it’s okay if you can’t.

Variety is the Spice of Life

This is a simple concept, but one that you may not have thought to incorporate: change up the types of books you usually read in book club if your members feel like they’re in a rut. If you usually stick to litfic, try a mystery or a romance. Take a break from nonfiction and pick up a comic or graphic novel. Try some kids books if you haven’t read those in awhile! Mix it up however you see fit.

Switch It Up

Remember how I said some of us have had trouble reading? Here’s a secret: it’s okay to rebrand book club! Maybe use your book club time to try painting or knitting as a group, or have a cocktails and craft night. Bring back my favorite cooking night idea and make a dish together over Zoom. Do whatever feels good; the books will always be there when you’re ready to come back to them.

And that’s a wrap! Shoot me an email at with your burning book club questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the Audiobooks newsletter and catch me once a month on the All the Books podcast.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.