Monday, April 13, 2015

A (Feasible) Book Club Alternative

A whole lot of people I know are in book clubs.

Not me. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Actually, I'd really love to be in a book club, but in all honesty, my reading is rather sporadic. I can get through a fluff and stuff (or 10) in a matter of hours. But, good books-they take me much longer. My most impactful books usually take me 6-9 weeks (the full library borrowing time allowance) to plow through.

Which isn't exactly compatible with the a book every month book club idea. Unless, of course, only fluff and stuff is getting consumed. But, from what I've seen, fluff and stuff is usually frowned upon as book club fodder.

And to have to finish a book in a certain amount of time? Oh the pressure!

But, book clubs. The dedication! The education! The sophistication! Such positive -tions.

Last fall, I stumbled upon a post that talked about some woman's article club. What an idea!

We all have time to read one article per month! Even the busiest of us can read it in the car on the way to the meeting. At the stop signs, of course.

Thus, our article club was born. Such humble beginnings...

It works exactly like a book club...regular participants, regular date, great food, great reading material. (we aren't even reading fluff and stuff!)

Currently we have a core group of 4 regulars, that we are hoping to expand to 8. We are all women and moms. That wasn't intentional (well, the women part was. The mom part-not so much)-it's just how it has shaken down.

We take turns picking the article. Any subject. Chooser's discretion. We aren't trying to read only "Christian" articles. We pick articles that deal with women's issues.

Time management. Education. Parenting. Friendship.

We've met on the first Thursday of the month, since November. It makes it easy for everyone's schedule. We did switch May's meeting to April 30, because almost all of us were crazy busy the first Thursday of May. But, it's a one time deal.)

We start at 7:30, and won't go past 9:30. We like to honor each other's time and family pulls.

We have a snack (fruit, veggies, cheese, hummus) and wine (Freudian slip-I've called it wine club a time or too, but really, we drink very little wine.) or tea or water. It is simple. Then no one has to stress about getting an elaborate spread together.

And we discuss. The person who picked the article is responsible for leading the discussion. They will usually prepare some questions before hand. It is great. Last month I picked the article, so I led the discussion. I actually googled book club questions, and found a list that I adapted for our article club. It dug a little deeper than, "did you like the article?"

I'm totally a fan of this article club business. It is a real practical idea for busy women. It's not too much commitment-besides the regular monthly meeting. It doesn't require much additional time. It provides an opportunity for girl time. I love our challenging discussions and the growing friendships. Sometimes when you are a stay at home mom, between churches, life can get a bit lonely.

Are you part of a book club? Do you think that an article club might be a good fit for you?

To help you get started, here are the questions I adapted. Feel free to use them or change them as your situation requires...

-Give the article a rating, 1 (absolutely hated it) to 10 (thinking about framing it and hanging it on your wall)
-What is the significance of the title?
-What was your favorite line or thought? Why?
-What did you disagree with? Why?
-What did you learn that you didn't know before?
-How has you view on the subject changed from reading this article?
-Describe something you liked or disliked about the writer's style.
-What major emotion did the article evoke in you as you read?
-Are there situations you could identify with?
-What part inspired you in some way?

So, what do you think? Did I get your wheels turning?