Reading is a lot of fun. You get to travel far and wide, but it is practically free if you get your books from the public library. All you need is your imagination.
And that is not all, there are many other benefits to reading – books are a great source of knowledge and carry many meaningful lessons on life.
My favourite part of reading is having discussions about a book I just read and sharing books with people. So I decided to start a book club at school so I could connect with other people in my school who loved reading as much as I did.
Organising a book club wasn’t as hard as I expected.
Recruit book club members
To get people interested, I advertised at the school library (If you don’t have a school library, you can go to the community library). ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼I put up a big poster, asking people to send me a WhatsApp message if they were interested to join
I asked the librarian to supervise. She loved the idea of the book club and she even allowed us to use one of the rooms in the library for our meetings.
Running the meeting
The first meeting was basically an information session – I let people know what the book club was and why I had decided to start it. We also set some rules about how the book club would work. We decided that we hold our meeting every Thursday after school and everyone in the club would read one book a month.
We made a decision that we wanted to split the type of books we read. For two weeks of the month, we read books that had some sort of information to help us for the future. So we read books like 7 habits for highly effective teens or inspirational books about Winnie Mandela, Michelle Obama or Oprah. The other two weeks would be spent reading books that were based on fantasy.
We would discuss the books that we had finished reading, we would also play quiz games related to the books we had read and at the end of every term, we would have a themed party.
We also discussed set books and we helped each other with writing our essays. Everyone who was part of the book club saw their English mark get better during the first term and we just continued to get better as the year progressed.
Then my book club members became friends: One of the best parts of the book club is that we started hanging out outside of the book club. I found friends that had similar interests to me. We would spend our days just speaking about our favourite ￼￼books, sharing books and we even attended the Abantu Book Fest in Soweto to meet some of our favourite authors. Our friendship grew stronger and we now talk about more than just books. We support each, and encourage each other when we are feeling down.
When I am struggling with something in my life whether I have had a fight with my mom or struggling at school, they are the people I speak to.
Starting a book club may seem like a hard task at first but it is definitely worth it!