Join the Paper Chain

Share Our Love of Paper

Become inspired to enjoy paper and print in all its glory.

Book Clubs
Adobe Stock - Monkey Business

Book Clubs, The Height Of Fashion

For some of us, reading never went out of fashion but for others picking up and reading a book has been perceived as boring or old fashioned. Why spend time turning over page after page when digital offers immediate access to information, videos, entertainment and more?

However, as we become overloaded and exhausted from its constant noise, a gentle tide is turning on digital as younger generations are once again finding pleasure in books.

Reading Is Fashionable Again

With the likes of Thimotée Chalamet, Harry Styles and Kendall Jenner being captured in photos with book in hand, and Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber, daughter of Cindy Crawford, setting up their own book clubs – Service95 and Library Science respectively –  it’s refreshing to see books and reading being dusted off and enjoyed by a younger generation.

Gen Z is the generation that has grown up not knowing a world without digital, so it’s interesting that it has discovered the joy to be found in reading a physical book.

The reading list of Kaia Gerber’s Library Science book club, features an impressive variety of titles, both fiction and fact, modern and classic.  In the blurb on her About page, Gerber states that she is on a mission “to get young people reading”. If the popularity of TikTok’s BookTok is anything to go by, then she’s part of a growing shift in the habits of younger people that appears to have its origins in the isolation imposed by the Covid-19 lockdowns that began in 2020.

#BookTok

BookTok, a sub-community of TikTok, is credited with driving a rise in book sales among Gen Z. Effectively a giant, international book club where participants make videos reviewing and discussing books, #BookTok has been used well over 200 billion times. Research by Publishers Association found in “a poll of over 2,000 16-25 year olds, almost two-thirds (59%) say that BookTok or book influencers have helped them discover a passion for reading.”[1]

The research also revealed that over half (55%) of respondents turn to the platform for book recommendation while “seven in 10 (68%) say that BookTok has inspired them to read a book that they would have never considered otherwise.”[1]

Library Membership Is Also On The Rise

A report by the American Library Association “found that gen Z and millennials are using public libraries, both in person and digitally, at higher rates than older generations.”[2] In the UK, overall library visits have increased to above pre-pandemic levels.[3]

Reading Clubs: A New Social Scene

The number of book club events listed on event management and ticketing website Eventbrite grew 350% between 2019 and 2023. [4] It seems that what started as a way to connect with people during the pandemic has become a long-term interest for many, and one that is continuing to attract new members.

There are reading clubs and groups for all interests and ages, which makes them a great place to meet up with likeminded people. Although it’s worth highlighting that one of the more powerful facets of joining a book club is reading books that we might not otherwise choose. On her website, Gerber says, “We learn the most from the stories that aren’t our own”.

There is plenty of evidence that points to the importance of reading in children’s development, as we have explored in previous articles; but the benefits don’t stop in childhood. Reading can bring benefits and joy to people of all ages and can be taken to a whole new level by joining a book club.

Other Benefits Of Joining A Reading Group Or Book Club

Whether you choose to join an in-person or online club, the benefits can be far-reaching. They include, “enhanced relaxation, calmness, concentration, quality of life, confidence, self-esteem, as well as feelings of shared community and purpose”.[5] Other benefits are:

1. Encourages making time to read

Even for keen readers, life and distractions can get in the way of picking up a book. When you’re part of a reading group and you’re supposed to be discussing the book at the next meeting, it’s more likely that you’ll make the time to read.

2. Reading books you might otherwise not consider

Reading groups are a great way to broaden your horizons to new genres and topics. In turn, this can help us to see the world from new and different perspectives.

3. Improve communication skills

Because the overarching goal of a reading group is to discuss a book the group has read during the preceding week or month, it’s a great way to develop vocabulary and listening, speaking and even debating skills

Physical Or E-Book?

We’ve written many times about the benefits of reading printed text over digital, and, encouragingly, it seems that Gen Z are in agreement. The owners of the Notting Hill Book Shop, whose interior was replicated as Hugh Grant’s The Travel Book Co in the film Notting Hill have observed a 100% increase in physical book sales since the pandemic, with Young Adult fiction selling particularly well. They attribute this increase “largely to social media and the renewed interested in reading.”[2]

Find A Reading Group

Whatever your generation and whatever your interests, you will find a book club to suit. There a numerous websites dedicated to linking reading groups with new members:

UK

Reading Groups for Everyone

Find a Book Club

Reading Friends

Bookclubs

 

Inrernational

Goodreads

The Paper Fact File

Paper is one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!

Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!