The Bookish Life

Themes and Tips for a Successful Book Club (when you need a change of pace)

These days, I know as many women as not that belong to a book club (or book group, as it’s often known). While book clubs can be rewarding for anyone, male or female, single or part of a family, they’re perfect brief respites from the stresses of life, especially for busy women. Book groups can form strong bonds and have surprising longevity, becoming somewhat of an anchor as the world shifts beneath our feet. There’s something about the combination of good books and good friends that feels quite timeless, and comforting.

Whether your group has been together for two years or two decades, it’s possible to fall into a rut. Are you squeezing out 30 to 45 minutes of discussion on who did or didn’t like the latest novel you chose before digressing into idle chit-chat? If so, you might need a change of pace. Here are some themes and tips for successful book group (aka book club) meetings, especially for times when you need a change of pace and shake things up:  Read More→

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Reading Aloud to Children: Creating Lifelong Book Lovers

Establishing a read-aloud ritual can be one of the most gratifying ways to enjoy well-spent family time. If raising children leaves you with little energy or patience for personal reading, take comfort in knowing that reading aloud to kids can be as nourishing for the reader as it is for the listener(s). And literacy experts agree that reading aloud to children from an early age helps assure their becoming avid readers later on.

Don’t limit reading aloud to preschoolers—school-age children and sometimes even teens love being read to. Add whatever embellishments you’d like—a warm beverage, a specific setting, lots of cuddling—to ensure a prominent place in your child’s memory for this time-honored ritual. Read More→

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Footnotes From the World’s Greatest Bookstores: 3 Women Writers’ Adventures

Those who write love to read, and those who love to read, love bookstores with a passion. Bob Eckstein, the noted New Yorker cartoonist has created a unique and beautiful book, Footnotes From the World’s Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers.

The 75 meticulously detailed paintings of fantastic bookstores by Eckstein feature some of the most charming and iconic bookstores around the world. The art is embellished with charming, bittersweet, and often humorous anecdotes by writers, thinkers, and dreamers who have visited them. Some of these bookstores have gone by the wayside, many, thankfully, are still open for business. Here, Bob shares the bookstore adventures of three contemporary women authors. Read More→

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4 Ways to Love Books as a Family: Family Reading Night & More

I frequently hear busy parents bemoan a lack of time, patience, or both, to read for pleasure. Others wonder how to inspire their children to develop a greater love for books.  Here we’ll explore four ways to combine family time with reading time, including family reading night, reading at the table, family book clubs, and reading outdoors.

Any of these will make family reading time a ritual to look forward to, equally pleasurable for parents and kids. Reading aloud with or to your kids is a whole topic unto itself, which we’ll explore in Reading Aloud to Children: Creating Lifelong Book Lovers.

No matter how “educational” certain TV or computer programs are, few are more nourishing than reading. On the contrary, with all that visual stimulus right in your face, the imagination has little chance to take flight, let alone soar. Make books part of your kids’ lives from the start, and their lives will be richer for it. Read More→

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