It’s somewhat like the movie—The Jane Austen Book Club—where six Californians get together to form a club where discussions on her books take place, every other weekend. After watching the movie, more that its entertainment factor the concept of having a book club—where you can share your passion for reading with other readers—definitely got you thinking. We looked for similar clubs in our vicinity. Well we have here our own Gurgaon Book Club. It is not limited any single author, but is a lively club, where enthusiastic readers come together, to read and discuss books written by various Indian and International authors – of all genres.
Started almost seven months ago, by Manish Kinger—till then not an aggressive reader, but enthusiastic to be one—today Gurgaon Book Club has about 52 passionate readers as its members. The books to be read are picked by a majority vote; and through Facebook page sharing, the strength of every session of the Club is defined. Depending on the genre and the book, each session does not exceed 7 to 8 readers – making sure that the analysis and discussion of the book is free flowing, interesting and extremely interactive.
Manish Kinger, Copywriter at Noah’s Ark Creative says, “I moved to Gurgaon from Punjab about three years ago, for work. When I came here I started looking for some social groups. I was not much of a reader, but wanted to develop the habit of reading; and so was looking for a social group to help me do that. I wanted to be a part of a group;starting one was not even a remote thought. But when I joined some coffee meets and other groups, I realised they weren’t serving any purpose. So came about Gurgaon Book Club. Slowly a few friends joined in, and now we are about 52 members; and all of us who meet for book analysis are people who love reading, or those who want to get into it. We meet, have coffee, and talk. But the main objective of reading and discussing a book stays in place; that’s the essence of this club.”
The Gurgaon Book Club gets together every alternate Thursday at 7.00 pm at the Barista Crème Lavazza, Grand Mall, MG Road. After the discussion on the previous book, the readers discuss the next genre or author to read; and on mutual agreement, the readers head to the Landmark Book Store that is below Barista. That’s the fun part. The readers spend good 45 minutes to an hour, scanning and then picking different books. Once the group decides on a particular book to read, they then order the book from Flipcart, the online website – offering discounts, and so, cheaper. The book takes about 3 days to arrive, and gives the readers ample time to be prepared for the analysis, that happens 2 weeks later.
At the sessions, the readers get an idea of the book, and discuss what they thought was exceptional; and what they liked or disliked. Everyone’s perspective on the book can vary, and that brings about several ideas and angles to the book. The Club follows no fixed pattern of discussion or reading; its a free flow conversation. If there is something that you feel extremely excited about, or something you found terrible and want to talk about to someone who has also read the same, then this is the perfect platform for that reader in you.
Dr. Simi John, Clinical Psychologist and a member of the Club says, “Reading books or even literature is a mirror into life. It sort of reflects what happens in real life. Also we are all so caught up in our work life and pressures, and reading provides a breakthrough. It gives you that escape route. For example, if I am reading about France, it takes me there for those five hours that I am reading. It makes you live what you read. Reading is very important. The Gurgaon Book Club is a group of people coming together, reading and discussing how the book was, and making a sort of critical analysis of the book. We share what we like and dislike about the book; but its all very light. Discussions on the book give you different perspectives. The gatherings of the Book Club we like the most, are the ones where most disagreements happen (laughs). Also on the books that everyone disliked, and outdoing each other on what we disliked. One of my favourite books is Love In Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.”
The Club has read various genres of book- Romance, Classical, Comedy, some screen plays, and various Indian and International authors. The next gatherings of the Club have other genres like Horror, Thriller, Science Fiction, Travel Log lined up.
Its is a non-commercial group, with no membership fee, and the expense only pertains to the cost of the book – or what you order at Barista. “We have a new member in the Club, who has an immense passion for reading, and is a special educator. She is physically disadvantaged, and has problems in communicating as well; but is just so full of life that she brightens up our sessions. She is now enthusiastically a part of the discussions, and initiates more discussions than we have ever. That’s the essence of our club – the readers who love reading and sharing it with other readers. We all come from diverse backgrounds and professions, but what’s common is the passion for reading,” says Manish.
Reading is not only supposed to be limited to your study desk, bed, class or library. Bring it out, release all the excitement in the book. Tell the rest how much you hated or loved Eat, Pray, Love; or how much you disliked or adored Dexter and Emma from One Day. Let loose those emotions and excitement, and get more in return, responses to yours at the fun and interesting Gurgaon Book Club.
Amindya Gupta, Entrepreneur and member of the club concludes, “The Gurgaon Book Club is a great platform for avid readers, or those who want to inculcate the habit. Before I joined the Club, I wasn’t much of a reader; and now I read so often and love it. I particularly like the thrillers, but in the Club we read all genres of books. Reading is a great recreational activity, and doing it in a club, just makes it so much more fun.”