“My drinking club has a book problem,”  said a wise humorist somewhere.

As the hours wind down on National Reading Group Month, we have this to say to anyone who is not a member of a book club: our deepest sympathies.

But of the many subscribers to the BookTrib newsletter and visitors to our website, chances are greater you belong to multiple book clubs than to none at all. Statistics indicate that well more than five million Americans belong to a book club.

People join book clubs for many reasons: discuss books, socialize, get introduced to new authors and genres, escape household chores, eat, drink, assess neighbors’ design tastes, improve your quality of life, you name it. Whatever your reason, we salute you for getting off your couch….and flopping onto another.

The team at BookTrib is fortunate because to do our jobs, we must read books. We are also fortunate in that we have developed a special relationship with one of the world’s largest book club networks: the Girly Book Club. GBC, formed in 2008 as a way to make new friends in new cities, has 70 chapters in 12 countries and some 2,000 book enthusiasts attending monthly in-person meetings. It thinks of itself as a global sorority of women with literary interests who socialize and share conversation and camaraderie.

Under that partnership, we share content for readers and provide marketing opportunities for authors and book publishers. But it also allows us to get close to book club members around the country and feel their joy up close. The pictures you see in the image above are from the October meetings of several GBC chapters (clockwise from upper left): San Francisco, Jacksonville, Orange County, Brooklyn, Lexington (KY), and Dallas.

As Girly Book Club Founder Erin Woodward says, “Our breadth worldwide is enormous, but our in-person meetings couldn’t be more intimate and casual.”

We hear from book club members throughout the year, to tell us about themselves and to engage with us about what they are considering for their next selection. One active book-clubber shared with us everything about the five groups of which she is a part — where they meet, who they are, what they’re reading. When she was done with her rundown, she said, “Whew! I’m tired just thinking of all of these groups, and I do them every month!”

“The fact that I get to discuss my thoughts about a book (especially with other like-minded women while sipping a glass of wine) is something I seriously look forward to each month,” said another club-goer.

Said another, “It’s been awesome to discover new books to love that I never would have picked out for myself.”

Just as society might chuckle at people who read the kind of newspapers made from paper and ink, so too might virtual book clubs seep into territory occupied by book lovers having real conversations in the real world.

The Girly Book Club has a virtual component, but it’s heart and soul is the live meetings. “It’s so gratifying to see a significant number of people still meeting in person these days to discuss books and forge friendships,” said Meryl Moss, Founder of BookTrib.com and President of Meryl Moss Media, a literary publicity and marketing firm.

A new element  to the Girly Book Club partnership is BookTrib’s Book Club Booster Program, which allows publishers to get their titles in front of 50 U.S. book club chapters that meet in person. Each month, BookTrib sends a “Booster Box” to the chapters that includes four books from publishers, which will be discussed and raffled away to members. Publishers have the opportunity to supply their titles to these in-person gatherings via the Booster Box.

In the pictures above, the book club members are holding four books from the October Book Club Booster Box: Before We Were Strangers, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, The Only Woman in the Room, and An End to Upside Down Thinking.

To join a Girly Book Club Chapter near you or to start one in your community, visit www.GirlyBookClub.com.

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