Book clubs offer a raft of lifelong benefits
  • Friday 15 January 2016
Sunny Coast Book Chicks book club members

The Sunny Coast Book Chicks book club has been meeting since 2012 and along the way discovered a range of surprising benefits of joining a book club.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said everyone knows that reading expands your horizons and book clubs help to do this at an even greater level.

“There are 128 book clubs on the Sunshine Coast who are not only sharing the love and value of reading but are also reaping some fantastic benefits,” Cr McKay said.

“Book clubs are great social forums which provide an enjoyable and meaningful addition to your social calendar.

“Sunny Coast Book Chicks are one book club who love catching up and sharing great conversations while dissecting a book. I was impressed to hear they have taken it to the next level by connecting with the authors via author talks, Facebook or inviting them to attend their monthly meeting.”

Inger Brecknell, founding member of Sunny Coast Book Chicks, said she started the book club on August 27, 2012 as a way of making new friends the same age and to share the love of books and reading.

“The thing I love most about our book club is the friendships that have been formed over the years. We currently have nine members mostly from the Buderim area,” she said.

“We always meet for our monthly book club in various cafes and restaurants around the Sunshine Coast, as we enjoy having a night out together with minimal disruption from our husbands and children.

“I recently met Helen Back, author of Happy Apples who spends half her day working in her psychotherapy practice and the other half running around as a barista in her coffee van, Barista Sister. I got chatting to Helen and invited her to attend one of our book club nights and to our delight she said yes!

“Our book club recently read Ugly: My Memoir by Brisbane author, Robert Hoge and we contacted him through his Facebook page after reading his wonderful memoir.

“On another occasion a few of our members attended a devonshire tea with renowned author, Di Morrissey at Flaxton Gardens organised by Sunshine Coast Library. At our next book club, these members will be sharing with the club all about their experience and what they learned from Di.

“In the near future, we have also invited Sunshine Coast author of Nest, Inga Simpson to attend our book club.”

Inger said she would definitely encourage others to join a book club as it is so fascinating to hear what other people are reading and what they think about the monthly book. And of course the great part of getting to know people as friends.

“There are many benefits of being in a book club including meeting new people, making new friendships and having stimulating conversation. It is a great monthly social outlet which I look forward to and you read books you normally wouldn’t,” she said.

“A couple of our members are interested in writing their own books and have started on the journey.”

One such member with writing aspirations is Kayla Brereton.

Kayla said she is a journalist by trade and has written a first draft of a non-fiction book based on mental health.

“Paved by my own personal journey, Life L Plates is a book designed to help readers alleviate stress, release pressure, manage expectations, change perceptions and help free the funk of a mental illness.

“It stands up for those struggling, helps inform those who've never experienced mental illness and spreads the idea of mental compassion. Through this book, people are encouraged to put on their “L Plates” not just for themselves, but in recognition of every person who has, or is, battling to cope.

“I have now submitted proposals to publishers, and am hoping to continue pitching in 2016!”

Sunshine Coast Libraries has a collection of over 550 titles for book clubs to select from. Visit council’s library website to join the book club eNews for information, news and events all about book clubs.