Book Riot has a great little write-up about an emerging book club trend: the bar-based book club, whose members gather at a local watering hole to talk all things book. Some of the clubs have themes (a New York-based group only reads long books) and others have rotating schedules of assigned books and just general book-themed get-togethers. The common denominator is the open access (meeting in public gathering places, they all are open to random seekers just showing up) and the beer!

I think that these groups are a fabulous idea. I have done the online book group this before. but like many 30somethings, I’ve found that since university, many of my friends have moved away, got busy with marriage and kids and just generally become unavailable. I’d love to meet some new people, and if I could find a group like this in my area, I’d be very interested.

I remember the book group my grandmother used to belong to. They would meet once a month at somebody’s house, on a rotating schedule. The hostess would be obliged to provide tea and sandwiches. The others would bring a potluck-style side dish or desert to share. Sometimes, a paid professional book group leader would visit to guide their discussion of a library-recommended read. Thinking of my own acquaintances, I am struggling to think of a single one who would even own a proper ‘tea service’ to put out for the hosting of such a gathering. Much better, these days, to meet in public where you can pay someone else to make the food and drinks!

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  1. I found such a book club in Sacramento, CA through the public library. It’s called alt + Library. Actually they usually meet in a coffee shop but this month they met at a brewery, and there was even a custom brew for our group, called the Edgar Allan Porter. Most enjoyable.

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