In our increasingly digital world, online book clubs are a fantastic way to connect with fellow readers from the comfort of your own home.
They offer a unique opportunity to delve into compelling narratives, explore diverse perspectives, and engage in stimulating discussions with people around the world.
Whether you’re a voracious reader or someone seeking to rekindle your love for literature, online book clubs may just be the perfect solution for you.
Let’s explore the concept in a little more detail before checking out a list of the best options for book clubs that take place online.
What is an online book club?
An online book club is a virtual gathering of book enthusiasts who come together to read and discuss books.
These clubs can be found on various platforms, such as websites, social media groups, or dedicated book club apps. They often operate similarly to traditional, in-person book clubs, but with the advantage of being accessible from anywhere. This means members can join from different geographical locations, contributing to a diverse and broad-ranging discussion.
Some online book clubs are genre-specific, focusing on areas like mystery, romance, or non-fiction, while others may choose books from a wide array of genres.
The structure of an online book club typically includes a reading schedule, regular discussion sessions, and sometimes even guest appearances by authors.
The reading schedule ensures that all members are at the same point in the book during discussions. These discussions can take place in various formats: live video chats, discussion boards, or comment sections. It’s not uncommon for authors to join these discussions, providing unique insights into their work and an opportunity for members to interact directly with the creators of the books they’re reading.
Participating in an online book club can also serve as a motivating factor for those who want to read more regularly.
With a set reading schedule and the anticipation of engaging discussions, members may find themselves more inspired to read consistently.
So, whether you’re an avid reader seeking a more structured reading routine, or someone looking for a flexible way to reignite your reading habit, an online book club could provide the framework and community you’re seeking.
What are the best online book clubs?
Without further ado, here is a list of nineteen of our favorite online book clubs.
The clubs are in no particular order. Each has a slightly different focus and way of running, so you should be able to find something to suit your preferences.
1. Reese’s Book Club
This club was founded by renowned actress Reese Witherspoon in 2017, and it has since become a popular destination for book lovers. Reese’s Book Club serves as a platform where Reese shares her personal favorite books with the club members, often focusing on books written by women. The books selected are diverse in genre and style, but all are chosen with the aim of sparking intriguing conversations among members. All proceeds from the books purchased through the club are funneled into their literacy program, The Readership. This program is dedicated to advancing children’s literacy and nurturing a love for reading in younger generations.
2. Between Two Books
Florence Welch, the lead singer of the band Florence + The Machine, launched Between Two Books in 2012. This book club has grown significantly over the years, with a vibrant online community of avid readers. The unique aspect of this club is that it features book recommendations from various artists, writers, and directors, allowing members to explore diverse voices and perspectives. This club also operates on a relaxed membership basis. To join, all you need to do is pick up a book from their list and participate in the discussions that take place on social media platforms.
Belletrist was co-founded by actresses Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss. The book club serves as a celebration of books and their readers. Each month, Belletrist selects a book and hosts discussions about it, often involving author interviews. This interactive format enables readers to gain a deeper understanding of the author’s perspective. Apart from the book discussions, Belletrist also offers a newsletter and Instagram features like STACKED and Belle Bites. These features present curated lists of book recommendations and bite-sized book reviews, respectively, providing a comprehensive literary experience.
4. Read with Jenna
Originating as a segment on the TODAY show, #ReadWithJenna operates much like a book club. Led by Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and an author herself, the club picks a new book each month for members to read and discuss. It is an engaging platform for readers to share their insights and interpretations of the chosen books. In addition, Jenna’s involvement in the selection process means that each book pick is accompanied by her personal insight and perspective, adding a unique dimension.
5. Poppy Loves Book Club
Poppy Loves Book Club, created by Eva of Poppy Loves London, is an inclusive, global community where women read the same book simultaneously and discuss it online. The monthly book selection is the catalyst for lively discussions that often include the author. This interaction with authors provides an immersive reading experience, allowing readers to delve deeper into the narrative and understand the story from the creator’s perspective. The book club promotes a sense of global connection, as women from around the world come together to share their love of literature.
6. Silent Book Club
Silent Book Club is a unique concept in the landscape of book clubs. Rather than having assigned books, the club emphasizes a relaxing reading experience where members can read any book they like. The club has a simple motto: “Read, Wine, Repeat,” and their events often begin with a few minutes of silent reading followed by casual conversations about books. With over 250 chapters worldwide, the Silent Book Club offers a refreshing take on the traditional book club format, promoting individual reading choices while still fostering a sense of community among book lovers.
7. Book of the Month
Book of the Month is a book subscription service that has been curating the best new reads for nearly a century, since 1926. Each month, the club offers a selection of books from various genres, from which members can choose their favorite. This allows readers to explore a variety of new and interesting titles while also giving them the freedom to choose a book that suits their preferences. The club offers a flexible membership, allowing members to skip any month or roll over their credits to the next month. This flexibility ensures that members can manage their reading pace and book collection according to their personal schedules.
8. Rebel Book Club
The Rebel Book Club offers an uncommon approach to book clubs. Each month, members read a non-fiction book chosen based on recommendations from members, current trends, and a wide array of themes ranging from AI to race and identity. This conscious effort to diversify its book choices results in a rich mix of voices, lesser-known authors, and smaller publishers being highlighted. In addition to the reading experience, Rebel Book Club also fosters connections between its members. ‘Rebel coffees’, a feature of the club, matches members with shared interests for video chats and in-person meets, encouraging community engagement and meaningful discussions.
9. Beth’s Book Club
Beth’s Book Club is a global online book club that selects a different book each month for its members. The club serves as a gathering place for readers from all over the world to discuss and share their thoughts on the chosen book. Beth’s Book Club seeks to cultivate a love of reading among its members and provides a welcoming environment for new members at any time. It operates on the principle that reading is a shared experience and encourages its members to engage in passionate discussions and share their personal opinions on the chosen books.
10. Ladies’ Lit Squad
Ladies’ Lit Squad is a feminist book club that initially met in person at various locations in London. However, they have since moved their activities online to their Instagram account. The club has a membership of over 7,000 people from around the world. They share book recommendations, thoughts on readings, and vibrant pictures on their account, creating a lively and engaging community. The club explores the world of literature from a feminist perspective, promoting inclusivity and lively discussions on a wide range of books.
11. Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club
The Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club is a great destination for readers looking for highly-rated book recommendations. The club’s book selections are based on the winners and nominees of the site’s annual readers’ choice awards, ensuring that the books are popular and well-received by a broad community of readers. The club uses group discussion boards for members to share their thoughts and insights about the books. By joining this club, members can participate in regular discussions and discover excellent books that have been praised by the wider Goodreads community.
12. The Girlfriend Book Club
This club is part of AARP’s newsletter and website, The Girlfriend, targeted towards women 40 and older. It operates a private Facebook-only book club, but anyone can join. Each month, the club focuses on a different book chosen through a Facebook poll. Authors participate in a live Facebook chat that happens on the third Tuesday of every month. There’s also a thriving community of members who offer suggestions for the next must-read book, and the club hosts multiple book giveaways each month.
13. Los Angeles Times Book Club
Hosting a community event with each of its authors, this club often features books with a California angle. Many authors who have participated are well-known personalities, including Barack Obama, Jane Goodall, and Billie Jean King. The club’s host is author and veteran news editor Donna Wares. Articles related to book selection topics are also published in the Times.
14. Lit Hub’s Virtual Book Channel
Organized by The Literary Hub, this online channel hosts virtual book tour events, readings, and Q&As that would typically occur in bookstores. The first episode featured Kevin Nguyen discussing his debut novel “New Waves,” a narrative set inside the New York start-up world.
15. Translated Fiction Online Book Club
A collaboration of six European publishing houses, this weekly Zoom series presents a book from their catalogs in each session. The selected titles are sometimes discounted. The book club brings international literature to the readers’ screens, making it a unique opportunity to explore diverse cultures and perspectives.
16. Andrew Luck Book Club
Started by former NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, this online book club is aimed at both young readers (Rookies) and adults (Veterans). Every month, Luck chooses two books, and conversations take place on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #ALBookClub. The club encourages young readers to balance their interests in sports and literature.
17. Addicted to YA
This Goodreads group with over 30,000 members is passionate about the Young Adult genre. Each month, they vote on which books they’ll read in the next month, covering a book in a series, a standalone title, and a book within a chosen theme. The group hosts regular giveaways and invites authors for online Q&A sessions.
18. Noname’s Book Club
Initiated by Chicago rapper Noname, this club focuses on highlighting authors and independent bookstores within the communities that are underrepresented in literature and in business. The discussions are more active on Instagram and Twitter than on the website, and there are plans for introducing podcasts in the future.
19.The History Book Club
A Goodreads group for history enthusiasts, this club chooses one book each month while holding longer-running conversations about single books. Topics range from wars to elections, music to sports, world religions to world literature. The group has members from all over the world, making it a diverse and exciting place for history book discussions.
Benefits of an online book club
So why exactly are online book clubs so popular?
Here are five of the key benefits that online book clubs offer:
- Flexible Schedule. Online book clubs often offer more flexibility than traditional ones. You can participate from anywhere, making it easier to fit into your schedule.
- Diverse Perspectives. Online book clubs can have members from all over the world, bringing a range of diverse perspectives to the discussions. This can enrich your understanding of the books you read.
- Increased Reading Motivation. Being part of a book club can motivate you to read more regularly. The excitement of upcoming discussions can encourage you to keep up with your reading.
- Skill Development. Participating in an online book club can help improve your analytical and communication skills as you read more deeply and articulate your thoughts during discussions.
- Community Building. Online book clubs provide a sense of community. Even if you’re physically alone, you’re part of a group sharing a common interest, which can be comforting and rewarding.
How to make time for an online book club
We get it. Your schedule is already busy, and attending an online book club is just another thing to find time for.
However, we truly believe it’s a wise use of your time. Here are some ways to free up your schedule so you can attend an online book club.
1 – Prioritize Your Reading Time
Just like any hobby or interest, being part of an online book club requires a commitment of time. Set aside specific periods during your week dedicated solely to reading. This could be during morning commutes, lunch breaks, or the quiet hours of the evening. Regularly scheduled reading time helps you stay on top of the club’s reading list and fully participate in discussions.
2 – Leverage Digital Tools
Many digital tools can assist in making reading more accessible and efficient. For instance, audiobooks are an excellent way to make progress on your book club’s reading list during times when physical reading might not be possible, such as while driving or doing household chores. E-books can also allow for reading during short breaks or waiting times throughout your day.
3 – Engage in the Book Club Activities
Active participation in the book club can motivate you to make time for it. This could include participating in discussions, proposing new books, or even leading a session. By taking an active role, you’ll likely find it easier to carve out time for the club as it becomes a more integral part of your routine.
Tips for attending an online book club
Like anything else, the value you get from attending an online book club will correspond directly with the effort you put in.
Here are five tips to make sure you get the most from attending a book club online.
1. Prepare Ahead
Before each meeting, ensure you’ve read the necessary chapters or sections of the book. This will allow you to actively participate in the discussion and share your thoughts with others.
2. Respect Others’ Opinions
Book discussions can often lead to differing opinions. It’s essential to respect others’ viewpoints, even if they differ from your own. This promotes a healthy and open discussion environment.
3 Participate Actively
Engage in the discussion by asking questions, sharing insights, or commenting on others’ views. Active participation enriches the experience for you and other members.
4. Set Up Your Space
Ensure your space is quiet and comfortable for the duration of the book club meeting. This will help you concentrate and participate without distractions.
5. Be Consistent
Make an effort to attend each meeting. Consistent attendance helps build relationships with other members and deepens your engagement with the reading material.