Start up your own book club and make new friends

Many people enjoy settling down with a good book and are eager to talk about their current read especially if it is absorbing so what better way to do this than start a book club.

The main idea of a book club is that everyone reads the same book and then either meets up in person to talk about it or online if meeting up is not possible. Some novels have ideas for discussions at the end of the book that can be used to stimulate debate and provoke thoughts into character motives, plot lines and author intent giving the group a good starting point for discussion.

Another way to organise a book club is to use it as a way of swapping books that have been enjoyed. Obviously, discussions about the book could only take place once every member has read the book to avoid any spoilers. Members could however provide a brief synopsis of the book whilst not revealing any twists that the story may contain.

Joining a book club is a good way to make new friends with similar interests as yourself and it is certainly worth finding out if such a club exists if you move to a new area.

Real book or e reader what is your preference?

When e readers first came onto the market there was outcry amongst some members of the public who felt that they would take over the literary world and completely replace real books in future years. This has not been the case as can be seen in most of our supermarkets where a variety of books from autobiographies to the latest romantic novel can be bought so is there a place for both?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes for most people as each has advantages and disadvantages. Probably one of the reasons why people choose an e reader is that a whole library of books can be stored on it and so especially if you are going away on holiday and anticipate reading a few books it cuts down on the amount of real books you need to take, reducing the space and weight taken up in your luggage. If you are reading whilst sunbathing the e reader can still be read as the screen allows it to be seen in bright light and there’s no need to worry about losing your place as it automatically restarts where you left off.

With all the advantages of e readers why are real books still a popular choice? We are creatures of habit and for some people the enjoyment they get from holding a book and turning the pages can never be replaced by a handheld device no matter how sophisticated.

Developing a love of books and reading in the young child

It is essential in these days of mobile devices that children are still given the opportunity to immerse themselves in books and reading not only for the enjoyment it brings but also because In our primary schools children are expected to reach a good level of reading ability by the time they enter key stage two at the age of approximately seven. This presents a huge challenge for some children who may be reluctant to read not only books, but any printed material and it can also be worrying for parents and teachers who are often searching for ways to inspire and encourage reading.

The demands of learning to read can be taxing to young children but one approach is to resist the temptation to insist that they read every day even though it is encouraged by many schools. Children need to be shown that there is a purpose to reading whether it be reading the instructions to a favourite game or reading a recipe to make a cake. This type of incidental reading can encourage children to read without them being aware that they are reading.

By encouraging the reading of magazines and comic books a reluctant reader can be inspired to read and although the vocabulary may not be extensive in this type of literature, they may tap into the child’s interest especially if the reading material about a hobby they enjoy.

Have libraries had their day?

How long has it been since you visited a library? For many people, the answer will be I cannot remember because it has been so long ago, so is it time to see these large, often old and draughty buildings closed for good?

The purpose of libraries was originally to give the general population access to books irrespective of social class or financial status. This meant that expensive books used for extending knowledge, gaining information or simply to provide entertainment were readily available to borrow for a few weeks at a time for no cost. This is still the case today as libraries provide a service that many people, some who struggle financially, rely on.

In more recent times with the growing use of technology libraries have evolved to provide individuals without internet access at home a place where they can use a computer to send emails and carry out research.

In many towns the library has also become a hub for meetings and training courses giving it a new lease of life and providing a much needed service to the community so perhaps libraries have not had their day after all but have moved with the times and are as relevant now as in the past.

Films based on books

So many directors and choosing to recreate popular books as films. Recent examples include films such as The Hobbit, Goosebumps and The Gruffalo. If these films are done well, they seem to be hugely popular but many films seem to not follow the books accurately causing upset amongst avid fans.

Sometimes film-makers need to add or remove material from the book in order to make the film the correct length or even split the book into a series of films. If you struggle to finish a book and often get bored halfway through then watching a film can be a great way of getting to discover the whole story. Also some people like to watch a film after reading a book as it literally brings their favourite characters to life and can give them a greater understanding of the book.

It really is an individual choice, and some will chose to never see a film based on their favourite book in fear that it will spoilt it for them. Sometimes the characters may be portrayed differently to how they remember them and this can sometimes cause upset.

You can expect to see more and more of these types of films being released over the next decade.