Far Flung Friends’ Guide to Starting a Long Distance Book Club

Far away from your book loving friends? Are the book clubs at your local library and bookstore just not cutting it? It might be they’re not reading the kinds of books you like, or they just can’t fill the gaping hole in your heart from missing your long distance friends. Or, do you just want to talk about books without leaving the comforts of your own home and pajamas?

Start a long distance book club!

Things you need:
  • A group of book loving friends. The size of the group is completely up to you! It could be you and just one other person. Or three, four, five other people. It might be tough to do with larger groups, but I’ve never tried it, so do what makes sense for you.
  • Video or audio conferencing capabilities. FaceTime, WeChat, Google Video Call (via Gmail), Skype, etc. are all ways you can video chat with multiple people at once to talk about books. Phone conferencing works, too, (FreeConferenceCall.com, might be the way to go with a large group) but I prefer to see my friends’ lovely faces. <3
  • Wine! A cold brew. A stiff drink. Tea. Hot chocolate. Whatever gets you feeling cozy and relaxed. Snacks are nice, too.
  • Goodreads (optional). It’s free. My long distance book club uses the site/app all the time. If you don’t know, it’s a community of book lovers, a book database, a social media platform for readers and authors alike, and a great place to keep track of what you’ve read, and what you want to read. It’s also nice place to create a private group where you can message each other, start conversation threads about the books you’re reading pre-book club meeting, share recommendations, banter, schedule and coordinate, pick the next books, etc.

But you don’t have to use Goodreads. You can organize your long distance book club via group text, email, etc. Whatever platform works best for you!

I have found Long Distance Book Clubbing to be a fantastic way to catch up with friends who live in different cities, different states, and theoretically, different parts of the world (hasn’t happened to my group yet)–and to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Life happens. The lovely group of friends you went school with, or worked with, may have gotten jobs, gotten married, or gotten accepted into grad school that prompted them to move away, but technology has made it really easy to stay connected with one another and continue some of the things we love, even hundreds of miles apart.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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