With the increasing popularity of reading culture and newfound fascination for joining book clubs to meet like-minded people and share your reviews and thoughts — there has been a slight shift in the mindset of voracious readers. Well, this is not really new, but a trend (which began not very long ago) that is picking up its pace.
Ever since celebrities like Emma Watson and Oprah Winfrey launched their online book clubs, life just got more interesting for book lovers. Yes, we are talking about the traditional book clubs moving to the digital world.
Bollywood jumps on bandwagon
The newest member who recently announced his own online book club is our very own Sushant Singh Rajput. “The first thing I wanted to do in 2018 was to create an account where we could discuss/suggest great books and we all could share ideas. So here we go, it is The book club, @intoxillectual (I coined it, sorry:)). Feel free to join and share your great ideas,” (sic) wrote Sushant on Instagram.
Keeping in mind the busy schedule, the expenditure and the effort to get to the nearest book club — looks like following an online book club is another good option. It’s not just about getting to know what to read next, but it’s another platform to socialise with a larger group of people and also get to interact with your favourite star as some of them go live on social media to talk about the book.
Online vs Offline
To get a fair idea of what it’s like to follow an online book club and see which one is better, we spoke to a few avid readers from the city.
“I have been a part of Happy Book Club and I enjoy reading and socialising. What happens in online book clubs is we get to know more people from different parts of the world and also expand our reading genres. Online book clubs are the future!” says Jyotsna Rao, a nuclear medicine and PET CT consultant in Apollo Hospitals.
On the other hand, readers like Hindola and Annapurna think that though online book clubs have their own merits, nothing can beat the traditional book clubs. “I prefer traditional book clubs because there is more interaction unlike online book clubs where we might even have to filter the comments as not everybody will participate for the book,” says Hindola, a senior technical writer.
“We also have our personal preferences so the book recommended may not meet our taste. Also, I am doubtful if they recommend books responsibly,” she adds.
Similarly, Annapurna, co-founder of Happy Book Club, says, “For people who have time constraints, online book club might serve the purpose. But, its limitations for comments, word count and the delayed responses in a discussion cannot be ignored as well.”
Just like how every coin has two sides, even the concept of online book clubs has its sides. But, knowing how to filter what you read and ensuring that the main goal of any book club — which is to encourage reading, is served, you have nothing to worry.
Reviving the reading culture through book clubs got to be one of the best things this generation has seen, so let’s make the best out of it. Happy reading!