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Read & Relate: Start a Book Club in 2014

This new year, I plan on making more time to read – and I think you should, too! Not only does reading engage the mind and imagination, it can also keep you up to date on current events, and provide a healthy, engrossing escape from the stressors of daily life. And whether you’re spending some downtime with a novel on your tablet or flipping through the latest glossy for celeb gossip and style, if you’re anything like me, you may need a few things to help keep your habit going strong long past that first page.

 

Start Clubbin’

One of the best ways to keep the lust for literary companionship burning is to incorporate actual company into the mix, re: friends. A book club is a great way to get jazzed about your latest read, plus, in a gentle way, it holds you accountable for breaking that binding and starting the journey. No one wants to show up to a book club discussion, drink the wine, and eat the snacks without having anything to contribute to the conversation, right? And yes, I did say wine and snacks. Only the best for the book club!

If you’re an aesthetically driven décor-enthusiast like me, you may need a few visual cues and pretty new baubles to get yourself inspired and in the habit of actually reading. I like the idea of stylish, multi-functional pieces, such as side tables or storage ottomans, as handy holders for books, pillows, blankets, and drinks, as well as sets of bookends that can be used to house my soon-to-be-large library of both timeless and modern classics.

A comfy chair for reading is a must, and if you already have that covered, don’t forget a cozy throw, a stylish lamp, and a punchy little storage ottoman to complete the package.

Hosting the Book Club Crew

Should you decide to host the discussion in your home, some simple serving options like platters, fun little app plates, and drinkware are must-haves to keep guests munching, sipping, and chatting comfortably.

A few additional throws and decorative pillows will help friends kick back and get ready to do some drinking and dishing about their favorite parts of the book. If you really want to go all out, consider centering your snack menu around a theme that fits the storyline. Ask everyone to bring something story-inspired, or whip up something whimsical yourself – either way it’ll be a blast!

And remember, it’s a good idea to have a few points about the book penned out before diving into the discussion so there’s always something stimulating to talk about. Encourage guests to do the same to ensure there’s no shortage of creative conversation.

Best of 2013 and Beyond

If you need a little help deciding on a book, there are some great best-of lists currently making the rounds online. Here are a few I suggest checking out:

Cheers to a new year filled with fresh perspectives!

Read on, friends.

-Kelly, hayneedle.com editor

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