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Tuesday, May 17th
Reading is an undeniably popular pastime that delivers extraordinary benefits. In fact, reading has physical health benefits, such as promoting great sleep, warding off depression and preventing cognitive decline related to aging. It also aids in stress reduction, encourages empathy, enhances brain connectivity and more. As beneficial as reading may be and as enjoyable as it is to escape from reality in the pages of a good book, it may be something that you treat yourself to less frequently than you would like.
Book clubs traditionally have in-person gatherings where the members discuss the books they have been assigned to read. While many people participate in book clubs, they are not ideal for all readers. Online book clubs are a modern alternative. They offer many of the same benefits as traditional book clubs and a few other benefits. However, you do not need to pay a monthly book club subscription fee to enjoy a good book. With this in mind, you may be wondering if it is worthwhile to pay for a monthly book club subscription service.
Discover Books You May Not Read Otherwise
How do you currently choose the books that you read? Some people browse through different sections in a local book store. Others shop for a new book by reading the online descriptions. Still others may create their own reading list by reviewing bestsellers, or they may read every novel a single author has written before finding another author to commit to. While these are all reasonable strategies, the unfortunate reality is that you may miss out on the opportunity to read some truly amazing books with any of these strategies. After all, some great books are not discovered for decades after their release. Some wonderful novels may be in a genre that you have not yet discovered. Even if you do stumble upon a book online or in a local store, its description may not be enough to entice you to read it.
When you join a monthly book club, you will be assigned a new book to read each month. While you may have heard of some of the books, you likely will be unfamiliar with others. These are books that have already been screened by the book club service, so you are assured that they are great reads that are worth your time. However, these may be books that you may otherwise not feel inclined to read. After all, most people stick to a specific group of authors or to a specific genre.
Books give you the opportunity to explore new topics and ideas, meet new characters and be transported to places you have never been. A book club service exposes you to experiences, and it enriches your life in new ways in the process.
Make Great Connections Online
Making new friends in adulthood is unfortunately more difficult than it should be. In fact, according to one survey, 45 percent of adults in the United States have not made a new friend in at least five years. Joining a traditional book club is one way to meet people, but you need to either start a book club or be invited to join one. Perhaps your friends are not interested in being in a new book club, or maybe you do not know anyone who is active in a book club currently. With a book club subscription service, you simply sign up to join. There are no awkward introductions or unpleasant social encounters. You simply read your book each month, and you log on to chat with others who are reading the same book.
Through this online interaction, you can develop great relationships with others who share your passion for reading without the social stress that comes with a traditional club. You are free to participate as much or as little as you want to. Through interactions about the books that you read, you can learn a lot about other people. Their responses give you a different lens to view the book through. In the process, you can enjoy the novel on a deeper level than you would if you were to read the book on your own. Because of these factors, you can take full advantage of the benefits of social interaction that a book club provides without the social stressors.
The benefits of joining a book club are clear and significant, but is a monthly book club subscription the best option? After all, a traditional book club that meets in person is one option, and it does not have a member subscription fee. However, a traditional book club is not free. When book clubs meet in person, snacks and drinks are often served. In some cases, the member who hosts the meeting is responsible for all of the snacks and drinks. This can equate to a sizable financial outlay every few months. In other cases, all members are asked to bring one snack, a bottle of wine or other items each meeting. This equates to a regular monthly expense for participating in the book club. In both instances, you can see that an in-person book club is not free after all.
When you use a monthly book club subscription service, you will have one monthly fee. You know ahead of time what that fee is, and you can conveniently adjust your budget to accommodate the fee. Generally, the cost of the subscription is more affordable than the cost of participating in a traditional book club when all things are considered.
No Commitment or Stress
Another important factor to consider is the time commitment. Regardless of the type of book club that you choose, you will have the pleasure of reading a new book every few weeks. However, with a monthly book club subscription service, you may not necessarily be obligated to read the book by the next meeting. Instead, you generally can proceed at your own reasonable pace. This important distinction equates to less stress and more enjoyment from your participation in the book club.
More than that, you are not obligated to attend a meeting every month. The meeting date and time are usually inflexible. The person hosting the event that month may have the final say, and the meeting date and time may not always work well with your schedule. With meetings held relatively infrequently, you can easily lose touch with the club if you miss a few meetings because of other obligations. On the other hand, a book club subscription service allows for periodic participation at times that are most convenient for you. You simply log in, share your thoughts, read other members' messages and go back to your day's plans. You can participate as frequently as desired, such as after you read each chapter. On the other hand, if you do not have time to participate for a few weeks, you can always catch up by reading through previous comments left by others.
In addition, meeting places usually rotate evenly for a traditional book club. Perhaps you have a small apartment, a few young kids that would interrupt the club meeting or other issues that make your home less than ideal. There is no obligation to open your house up for a meeting when you participate in a book club subscription service.
Regardless of the type of book club that you participate in, you will undoubtedly enjoy many great benefits. However, you can see that traditional book clubs have a few important drawbacks that are not present with a monthly book club subscription service. The best way to decide if a subscription service is right for you is by trying it out for a few months yourself.
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