Nicole Caudill: The advantages of joining a book club

Have you ever thought about joining a book club?

Do they even still exist?

We live in a world with digital content and instant information which is all just a click away. We receive constant news updates from our phones and even our watches, including book reviews and suggestions given by Hollywood stars and social influencers.

So why join a book club in your community?

While I enjoy reading book reviews on Goodreads and Reddit, or the back of book covers (yes, I actually love holding a real book in my hands while reading), I was looking for more. I wanted to find individuals who have the same interests: discussing a good book and drinking coffee, two of my favorite things. Therefore, the idea was born to start a book club in Johnson County to combine the two activities: the Books and Beans Book Club.

Luckily, we have some wonderful coffee shops in the area that are very accommodating, supportive and welcoming. Main and Madison was our first host, and we had our first meeting in their wonderful space. While the weather outside was dreary and cold, the inside was toasty, the beverages and treats were delicious and the conversation was even better.

Quickly I found out that the book we had chosen for the month may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but we started a conversation discussing new and old books, experiences were shared and lots of book recommendations were offered.

We talked about other book clubs that we have attended, and I concluded it was not so important that everyone liked the book but that it was just nice to get out and talk to other readers, to exchange experiences and ideas and to have a good time meeting new people from our community.

Books and Beans Book Club meets at 9 a.m. on the last Monday of the month at different coffee shops in Johnson County. Our next meeting is on Nov. 29 at Coffeehouse Five in Franklin, and we will discuss “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty, which was adapted into a Hulu original series with Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy this year. Copies of the book are available to borrow from JCPL.

JCPL offers a variety of book clubs and book discussion groups for all ages, from middle school to adult, at different times of the day in various locations. Stout Stories meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at local breweries and wineries in Johnson County. Franklin Page Turners meets at the Franklin Library Branch, and there are many more JCPL book discussions worth checking out here:

So come on out, brave the weather and join a local book club with your library. It’s a lot of fun, and there are plenty of new friends to be made.