Reading is an art and like all arts it doesn’t come easy. Despite the stereotypic view that Kenyans don’t read, I am a firm believer that they do as is seen by the number of Kenyans writing, publishing books and also the number of book Kenyans buy.

One of the ways to build a reading culture is to start or join a book club. A book club is a group of people who meet to discuss the books they’ve read and share among themselves the books they have.

Book clubs, good ones at that, can help one read more as they push you to read so as to have something to bring to the table during the next meeting. You can have people do book reviews and set a period of time for members to finish reading a book.

You also get to read more widely as you have access to a wider range of books to chose from. The more widely read one is the more open minded they are and the more they can bring forth into a conversation. Having people with different tastes in books can help one get different perspectives and maybe discover a genre they didn’t know they liked.

They say the more one reads, the more they can write. If you plan on doing some writing then a book club would go a long way in helping you read more and widely thus improving your writing.

You also get to improve your communication as you engage in intellectual conversations and review and critique books. Some times you may not agree with each other thus there will be huge debates about different topics and this will help improve your communication both orally and in writing.

Last but not least is the aspect of friendship. Book club members can become the best of friends and the friendship can move beyond the club into other areas of interest such as starting a chama or supporting a cause. The more time you spend together, the more you get to know each other and the more you become friends.

So if you’ve been thinking about joining or starting a book club then go ahead. There’s nothing to lose.