February Book Club & Tips For Reading

This was so well received when I brought this up at the end of 2017. We'll start the book at the first of the month, I'll have a quick newsletter check in at the middle of the month, and at the end of the month, we'll have a discussion on our Facebook group. 

This February we'll begin All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Rules

  1. The first rule of book club is you can absolutely talk about book club. Feel free to invite you family, your friends, your friends family, their dog, your neighbor.. whoever. This is open to everyone that loves to read and discuss books. 
  2. Be respectful. I highly encourage discussion even if it doesn't align with what everyone else is saying. 
  3. Have fun. There aren't any strict rules here and only very simple guidelines to follow. I want this to be a place to come and relax, to enjoy, to step back from your real world and enter into some place entirely different. 

Feel free to leave recommendations for future books down in the comments below!

Reading Tips

  • Keep track of your favorite quotes or paragraphs.
  • Write down any questions or comments you have.
  • Read in the bathtub. Set yourself a relaxing bath with bubbles or a bath bomb. Bring in some tea or coffee or a delicious drink. Light candles if you want, bring in your favorite scents, and, most importantly, your book. Completely free from distractions.
  • Go to the library. What better place to read than a library itself? It provides the perfect atmosphere: great lighting, solitude, and quiet. It may even inspire you more to be surrounded by books. 
  • Whether it's any of the above two, find your reading spot. The spot that helps you focus, that is free from noise, that allows you a moment to breathe and soak up the words on the page. This could be anywhere from your bed to your couch to a wooded area with a blanket. 
  • Wear earplugs. If you're easily distracted or in an area with a lot of background noise, these will help tremendously to drown sound out. 
  • Turn your phone off. Seriously. It's so refreshing. I am less likely to worry about it when it's off and put away.
  • Set a timer. Setting aside a specific time to read will give you space to know how long you should be reading for. You can even start out in small increments (15 minutes) and see how you're feeling by the end of the timer. 
  • Try audiobooks. If reading absolutely isn't for you or if you're often in a car, an audiobook might be a better option for you. 
  • Set a goal. Set a goal. 10-15 pages a night. Or 5 pages in the morning, 5 at night. A small amount within a month adds up if you read everyday. 10 pages a day equals 300 within a month. 
  • Use a pointer to keep you focused. Using a bookmark or your finger to follow the words as you go along helps keep your pace and makes sure you aren't reading the same words over and over again. You can follow along at your own pace. 
  • Keep practicing. Reading is a common skill but as with everything: with practice, comes greatness. Not everyone is a natural born reader especially if it's not something you do a lot. Don't be discouraged if you're having a tough time focusing. Take it slow and allow yourself time, patience, and practice.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

When will we have our discussion? The discussion will occur on the last day of the month and everyone is welcome to join in at any time after it starts. 

What if we don't like the book that is chosen? There are a couple options I suggest. 

  • Read it anyway. Books often surprise us and we may find a book we didn't think we would be interested in, turns out to be incredible. Even if you wind up hating it, you'll be an asset in the discussion and may even turn a few heads to look at the book with different eyes. I do hope this book club inspires readers to step out of their usual "book comfort zones" and read a different type of book than they are used.
  • Skip it and come back the next month. Feeling forced into reading a book isn't beneficial to anyone. You are always welcome to skip a month and come back on the first of the following month. 

I have already read the chosen book of the month, what should I do? If you liked it, you are more than welcome to re-read it to refresh your memory and mark down your favorite things. If you don't want to re-read it, you can just come back at the end of the month to join in the discussion!

Can we recommend books? Absolutely! However, I cannot guarantee it will be one of the readings but please don't let that put you off from recommending one. You can recommend a book here.

I'd like to keep track of the books I've read, how can I do that? I recommend signing up for a Goodreads account. You can keep track of the books you've read, the books you want to read, and the book you are currently reading. Once you finish reading the book of the month, you can rate and, if you'd like, review it. These are great tools for the author and other readers. If you make one, my account is here and you're welcome to add me.

How can I keep track of my questions and comments I have from the book? Either write them down in a separate little journal OR (and I'm sure someone out there will find this blasphemous) write in the book. Underline, highlight, write little notes in the borders of the pages, place sticky notes on the pages so you know to go back to them during discussion time. 

I'm very excited for all of us to be here together. In this book club, we are here to encourage other members to keep forth and share our personal experiences with reading. Whether positive or negative.  Everything and everyone is welcome in this space to share words and share stories. We are all busy with full schedules. I'm a mom and now a full-time student so I get it but we can do it. Don't stretch yourself thin but it is important you feel something, a little pull. I am always here if you need encouragement. 

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Shayna Shattelroe

25 years old. Mama to Maddox. Word weaver. Lover of love. Coffee addict. Psychological science student. 

A woman of curious nature, my name is Shayna. I am wild & reserved. Humbled & proud. Quiet & clamorous. Strange & familiar. I live in the trees of New England typing away as lifestyle blogger. You can always find me with a coffee cup in one hand and a book in the other.

Blogging since 2005, I’ve had an innumerable amount of blogs on a vast number of platforms. Finally, I’ve found one to call home: The Lovely Cicada. This blog is a piece of myself I extend to you.