In this series we will hear directly from some very inspiring clubs using Bookclubz in order to get to know their stories and learn how they are using our platform to build uplifting and meaningful communities!
Get to know the Books & Bevvies book club, and how they used their book club as a way to revive their minds and souls during a global pandemic. (And experimented with some bevvies too!)
How did your book club start?
Our book club was formed in the Fall of 2020 in the midst of COVID-19. Our founders, Garima & Richha were looking for a way to connect and escape the stresses that the pandemic had inflicted on all of us. Books were a mutual way to escape, but also provided movement for our minds and soul. What started as a small idea (which we weren’t sure would work), has quickly become something we are excited about growing and expanding to more like-minded readers like us. In a short 4 months, we have grown to 20 members that meet virtually every 2 weeks. We typically have been 10-15 members at any given meeting and through our club we have been able to meet new people, gain broader perspectives while bonding over our mutual interest in reading.
What was the first book your club read? Who selected it, and what was the response like?
Our first book club read was “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Since this was our first book club pick our founders chose this book via online recommendations and reviews. We were happy that our first pick was one that our members thoroughly enjoyed! The book had a variety of themes and characters, along with suspense and crime making it easy for everyone to connect with in some way.
How has your relationship to reading changed since you started/joined a book club? (member replies below)
I was always a book nerd. I remember growing up surrounded with books around me and vividly recall finishing my Enid Blyton series when I was 6 years old. But as life happened, school, university and work started taking precedence limiting my time with books. But when I had my kids, I knew I wanted to instill the same love for books I had as a kid which I can only do by setting an example. Books & Bevvies happened at the time when I was looking to get back into reading and actually committing to finishing a book (which I hadn't done in years!). It also made me read books I wouldn't have voluntarily picked up from a shelf. It has helped broaden my perspective about many important discussions today around race, politics, relationships and personal growth especially during our book club meetings. I look forward to many more reads with the amazing group and learning from them every month! (Reeti Ahluwalia)
I've always loved reading but since I've joined the book club, I'm reading more consistently and I've made it a part of my daily routine. It's encouraged me to read books from a variety of genres, deepen my understanding about different people, cultures and social issues, and gain new perspectives through our group discussions. (Ambika Maheshwari)
Joining Books and Bevvies has been wonderful because I've gotten to meet some new people, when the lockdown makes it otherwise impossible. We have our interest in reading in common, but otherwise come with different perspectives and experiences, which make for a great discussion. I've also read books that I may not have otherwise picked up, and so have learned something new or thought of something differently as a result. I look forward to continuing to chat and discuss a variety of books with this group in the future! (Soni Sharma)
Reading was something I used to do when I put more priority to myself. It was a ritual, cozy up with a bevvie and my book. I would get completely absorbed in it and even obsessed to finish. Then slowly other things took priority. Since joining the book club, My relationship to reading has changed, in that I feel like I found an old friend and have given myself some 'me' time back. The book club elevates the reading experience - I have a group of people (who were once strangers) with a shared interest and goal where we can discuss perspectives but also give space to each other to share personal stories. (Reema Shah)
What's one question you ask to start the discussion for each book your club reads?
To get the discussion flowing we always start our book club meetings with the question “Using one word, describe how you felt after reading”. Each month when we welcome new members we do an icebreaker question that allows everyone to share a bit more about themselves. (i.e. what was your favorite travel memory, what is one of your new years goals, why did you join a book club)
How do you select what book your club is reading?
We try to keep things interesting by using different methods to select our reads. We have used the message board on Bookclubz to get suggestions from our members and we also enjoy using the Poll function to have our members vote on what they want to read. Recently, we have been using our community on IG to vote and to provide suggestions. As we grow, we are hoping to incorporate themes into book selections for certain months (i.e. romance, Candian authors, etc.
What was the most memorable book your club had read?
While we are new club one of the most memorable books we have read so far has been The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It sparked a lot of unique perspectives and discussions and had us all completing the book very fast as we couldn’t put it down!
A Bevvie recipe to try on your own!:
Festive Cookie Cocktail (if festive is out of season you can just call it a Cookie Cocktail as well)
- 2 oz Vodka
- 2 oz Creme de Cacao
- 2 oz Cream
- 2 oz Evaporated Milk
- Rim dipped in maple syrup or honey with Graham Cracker crumble
- Garnish with Cinnamon Stick or fresh cinnamon powder