I know I am not alone in feeling a bit frazzled during this time of year. The weeks between Halloween and the new year go by in a blur and fitting in time to relax, recharge, and read can be a challenge.  

As a member of several book clubs and the Chair of the ALA Reading List Council, I get a lot of enjoyment in gathering with others to discuss books. But I know it can be difficult to squeeze in recreational reading with so many other pressing obligations pulling at our time and attention. Sometimes my book clubs don't even meet in December because no one has time to read the books!  

What to do? Below are five suggestions for alternatives to holding a traditional book club meeting in December. Does your book club do something unique this time of year? Let me know!  

  1. Take the pressure off and use your December meeting to pick what to read next year. Members can each share titles they are interested in, and the group can vote on the slate of books to read in 2022. Need some ideas? Check out the Book Club Best Bets Recommended Reads lists in NoveList! 
  2. Did your members do a book challenge this year? Report out on how that went — what were some of the group’s favorite or least favorite categories? Consider embarking on a group book challenge in 2022, either create your own or use an existing one. Here’s NoveList’s 2021 Reading Challenge for inspiration and keep an eye on the blog for our forthcoming 2022 challenge! 
  3. Select a popular middle-grade book for your discussion. These are usually shorter than typical book club fare but have plenty of worthy themes to discuss. Need recommendations? Check out our 2021 Kids’ Faves (So far) list or type UI 440275 into the search bar).  
  4. What do readers like even more than reading and talking about books? Sharing the books they love! Consider hosting a book drive for a local non-profit organization of the club's choosing.  
  5. Forget the books and gather outside or via Zoom for a relaxed get-together where everyone can socialize. Also, it’s okay to skip the December meeting altogether and give the group the gift of time. There will be plenty of opportunities to read in 2022!  

Does your book club do something unique this time of year? Let us know!  

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Halle Eisenman is the Content Development Manager at NoveList. She is currently reading The Last Exiles by Ann Shin and listening to Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia