Life Advice

Pro tips on how to get your book club going (and make it meaningful)

Book clubs are on the rise in Mzansi as more South Africans fall in love with reading.

Presenter Eusebius McKaiser hosted three Joburg-based book clubs, all owned and run by black women, to share their experiences.

Read: The perks of being in a book club (as told by avid SA readers)

VSS Book Club Foundation

Phiwe Mncwabe, from Vusisizwe Sethu (VSS) Book Club Foundation, says her book club focuses on African literature and they host dialogues and share stories to create a sense of community.

While the four-woman book club has gotten smaller in size over the years, Mncwabe says its the quality of members rather than the quantity that matters.

We want to create a lifelong sisterhood, not just an ordinary book club where we sit and meet.

Phiwe Mncwabe, coordinator at VSS Book Club Foundation

The members pay a monthly membership fee and each has an opportunity to host the book club sessions.

It's a monthly meet up and we each take turns to host.

Phiwe Mncwabe, coordinator at VSS Book Club Foundation

PRO TIP: When new members wish to join, VSS Book Club puts them on three months probation to gauge their level of passion and commitment.

Palesa Book Club

Naomi Webster says the Palesa Book Club has been going strong for 10 years as a result of consistent reading.

The book club has six woman members and has opened the doors to some men in the past.

We are consistently reading... We have a preference for South African authors, first-time authors and female authors.

Naomi Webster, coordinator at Palesa Book Club

A book club gives you space where you not only get to review books, but you get to interrogate what is relevant in terms of South African literature.

Naomi Webster, coordinator at Palesa Book Club

PRO TIP: The Palesa Book Club donates books to schools at the end of every year in order to promote reading among young people.

Bafati Bebumbene

Xoli Mcobothi from Bafati Bebumbene says the tight-knit bookclub spends a great deal of time reaching out to community groups and followers on social media.

Our book club is more about a sisterhood... We do giveaways and donate books to our followers on social pages.

Xoli Mcobothi, coordinator at Bafati Bebumbene

PROTIP: Once a year Bafati Bebumbene plan a holiday getaway where the members spend time connecting during the trip.

Follow the Bafati Bebumbene Bookclub, the Palesa Book Club and the Vusisizwe Sethu Book club Foundation on Facebook.

All three book clubs are run on a monthly basis. The members shared their expert advice on how to keep book clubs going.

Listen for more insights on the Literature Corner:


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