Young Professional Problems: (Not Your Mom’s) Book Club

by May 21, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]


What will you read? Tenth of December by George Sounders. (Courtesy Ramdom House)

There’s a trend happening in young professional social circles across the country. 20-something professionals are coming together and forming clubs with the purpose of reading books. Yes – you read that correctly.

After leaving four plus years of higher learning, my fellow young professionals are deciding that this reading business which Kunta Kinte LeVar Burton talked about so much is actually fun. Plus if Oprah does it, it must be cool (that woman is timeless).

But a book club doesn’t just run itself. You must cultivate it. But how? Here are some guiding principles to keep up with the trend and start your own book club.

The More, the Merrier

Has Oprah ever disallowed someone to join her book club? Of course not! She’s way too classy for that kind of shenanigan. There are three values to take away from kindergarten: share with others, reading is cool, and don’t kill the class hamster (whoops) – and having an exclusive book club breaks two of those rules.

It’s a Book Club, Not a Book Tyranny

You may have started the club, but you certainly don’t get to pick all the books. Choosing books that everyone will enjoy, or at least appreciate, is fundamental to book club success. Take turns choosing or vote during get-togethers. And whatever you do, don’t start with The Casual Vacancy (I learned that one the hard way).

Keep it Boozy and Delicious

Whether its wine and cheese or mimosas and brunch, no one wants to talk about a book in their free time without some serious refreshments. Maybe you can rotate book club locations at people’s homes and make it potluck, or follow along with Bitches who Brunch with a standing brunch book club. Or find a nice outdoor patio for book club happy hour. Just keep the drinks and noshes coming.

Pick a Set Date

Gosh it sucks trying to find free time amongst a whole group of professionals. You can Doodle the heck out of your calendars, but you’ll never have any success unless you just pick a standing date (like the first Sunday of every month). You may have to go on without someone every once in a while, but at least it will work!

Have Fun With It

You may have been an English major, but this isn’t your dissertation. Don’t get upset if someone didn’t like your pick or if they didn’t see the same symbolism that you did in Gone Girl. If you take it too seriously, your book club may just go rogue and pull a Gone Girl on you.

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