The perks of being in a book club (as told by avid SA readers)

There are communities of different book lovers who regularly get together to read, buy books and have literary conversations over a meal or drink.

Author and columnist Kate Sidley says book clubs are growing increasingly popular in South Africa.

She says book clubs serve both as an opportunity to socialise and stretch one's mind.

It's a good way of sharing books and getting recommendations.

Kate Sidley, columnist and book reviewer for the Sunday Times and The Times

She explains that there are different book club models, including:

  • all members reading the same book
  • members collect money and buy say 3 books a month to circulate
  • members bring books they enjoy
  • authors are asked to visit and talk about their books
  • some book clubs focus on specific genres

Sidley advises some book retailers give registered book clubs discounts and says many book clubs have moved online.

Listeners also phoned in to talk about how they run their book clubs, below are some of the calls:

I belong to Next Page Book Club and next month will be our fourth anniversary. We meet on a monthly basis to discuss books at different areas. There are 8 of us and we each host. It's a wonderful way to make sure we read and share knowledge.

Sanele, caller

I just host the Nerd Africa Book Club. They come and meet at Bridge Books bookstore once a month and they also organise a book drive and drop of books in different communities.

Griffin, caller

I'm from BookWorms Book Club and we'll be six years old in April. We've grown from strength to strength, focusing on African stories and South African writing... We have an outreach initiative that helps less fortunate members of our communities.

Lorainne, caller

I'm a new member of a cool book club called In Vino Veritas. It's a special experience for me as solitary reader and I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

Kaugelo, caller

Take a listen to the full discussion:

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