One of the first events in my life that the pandemic disrupted was the monthly bookclub I’ve belonged to for more than twenty years. In early March, as more and more public places closed, it began to seem like gathering in one house for discussion (and snacks) wasn’t the best idea.
To judge from what we’ve been hearing through social media, a lot of book clubs are having the same problem.
If you’re missing entertaining literary discussion, be sure to check out Time to Read, the Library’s book club podcast. Each month our charming and funny staff read a book (this month’s title is Little Women) and discuss it on air, along with questions sent in by Winnipeggers reading along with them. And today they released a bonus episode about book-to-movie pairings focused on The Hound of the Baskervilles. The great thing about a podcast is that you can participate whenever and wherever is convenient for you!
If you want to keep your regular book club going, how can you make sure everyone can get the same book?
My book club has been relying on free online classics and old favourites that all of us happened to have around. Check your shelves; you may find that everyone in your group has a copy of Larry’s Party, for example—or The Da Vinci Code! Be creative in your choices.
Some other potential sources:
- WPL’s Overdrive collection includes a few Express titles that are always available
- Our RBdigital service has so many ebooks and eaudiobooks
- Project Gutenberg offers more than 60,000 ebooks!
- several local bookstores are still open for social distanced browsing or curbside pickup of online purchases
And these days, video conferencing technology is pretty simple and straightforward. On almost any kind of smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can use one of these free apps to chat with multiple friends at once.
In the end, my book club held our meeting online using a video conference app and had a wonderful time! It was heart-warming (and hilarious) how excited we all were to “see” someone other than our families during this time of social distancing.