Post 3000!!! Giveaway and Book Discussion – Does An Online Book Presence Replace Face to Face Book Discussions?


Well holy smokes!  This is my 3,000 post.  Is that not just crazy?  Certainly a monumental post like this can not go by without some sort of hoopla…. you know how I like to celebrate!  🙂

This post actually falls into a spot I was planning to chat about on-line book relationships vs. face to face (ie. Book Clubs. reading groups, book studies…) and I am going to go ahead with it as I think it is a very worthy discussion for our friend, “Post 3000”.

Credit for the idea behind this post goes to Rita of My Home Of Books.  She recently wrote a post about book clubs and within her post she asked the question

If you have a solid on line presence with a large network surrounding your book related topics, do you find it necessary to also be in a book club?


This is the question that started me thinking, as I love my online discussions about books but I also love love my face to face book club and I personally would not want to give either up.  Them’s fightin’ words.


But… that’s me.

What started me thinking was if an online presence around books can replace that face to face feeling.  I personally would hope that it would not need to, but as I have heard from many of you through the years, finding a face to face book group is not always easy to do.

If you are reading book blogs and reading books suggested, or have already read a book that is being discussed, do you then join in the discussion? 

I think if you are participating in active commenting on bookish topics you are simulating a “book discussion” and if that is all that is available to you for numerous reasons –

  • no book clubs available
  • inability to join a group do to work, kids, family, commitments
  • existing book club/group never seems to discuss the book

Then certainly – get your book on that way and YAY that you do!  There are a smorgasbord of book sites out there for everyone’s tastes and many times you can find your favorite publishing houses on Twitter and FACEBOOK (by all means Friend them – they have great conversations and many times they have giveaways too!)


However…. (and this is where the discussion could get interesting 😉 ) I personally feel that face to face book relationships can stimulate a deeper connection to people and to books. Let me explain:

While it can certainly be AWESOME to discuss a book on-line either gush worthy or “hated it!” It is hard to get the real emotion that went into the read to come out in an online discussion.  Sure, I can say a book made me cry – but how does that replace sitting in a room together and hearing my voice crack when I say ” __________________’s break up with __________________ made my sob as though it was happening to me.”

Also, on-line it is hard to keep the conversation flowing at a rate that is satisfying to either party.  Sure I (or anyone) can write a review and you can comment.  Then at some point later I many read your comment and respond, and sometime later yet you may (or maybe you don’t) come back, see my response and then you comment again.  It’s a bumpy conversation.

Book Journey
On line conversations can be a bit bumpy….


Obviously I love on-line book conversations or this post 3,000 (echo when you say it – its cool….. 3,000, 3,000, 3,000…) would not be happening.  And I love visiting other blogger book sites and chatting books with them too.  I also love face to face book encounters and would like to give suggestions of how you can make that happen or find a fit that works for you:

  1. The one I love the most is join a book club.  If you do not know of any, check your local library.  They may either know book clubs in the area, or they may be offering them at the library (ours offers children, middle grade, family and adult book clubs).  *In the event that you can not find a book club and your library does not know of any groups… start one.

  2. Look for local author events (check book stores, library, newspaper, look on-line).  Listening to an author can be a wonderful experience.  I love to get to know the person behind the book.  Grab a friend… go go go!!!

  3. If there is a great read out and you and a couple of people you know have read it, invite them over to discuss it over drinks on the deck, or meet up at a coffee shop or restaurant.   It does not have to be a “book club”, but even taking time to talk with others about a book you enjoyed is stimulating conversation.


Please – I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Do you think that on-line book relationships can replace face to face ones?

Do you feel some can effectively do it all – discuss on-line books topics well and face to face encounters too?  Should they?

Do you have other suggestions for finding face to face book discussions for people looking?

Is this just a crazy discussion and post #3,000 is a weak attempt to engage people in book chats?  😉


Please share your thoughts – I did mention a giveaway – Leave a relevant comment here on this post between now and Thursday June 26th and I will enter you into a giveaway for a $10 Barnes and Noble or Amazon gift card – winners choice.  One entry per comment.   If you “Tweet” about this giveaway and post and put the tweet link in a comment space I will give you two additional entries.

(just click the “Tweet” button at the bottom of the post.)


72 thoughts on “Post 3000!!! Giveaway and Book Discussion – Does An Online Book Presence Replace Face to Face Book Discussions?

  1. I’m not in a book club, which is mostly because of time and scheduling. However, I think my blog has been a catalyst for real life book discussions rather than a replacement, because I have a couple friends and relatives who do read books and who will discuss books with me that we’ve both read.

  2. I say whatever floats your boat. Most people are on their smart phones or iPad. They’re busy with every day life. It can be hard to meet up for a book club. Most parents are busy with their kids’ extra curriculars on the weekends. I joined a book club last year and haven’t gone to a meet up yet. Kids or PTA got in the way.
    So all in all, I think found a serious or laidback fit – whether it’s online or in the flesh – that meets your needs.

    1. There is that Jill! 🙂 I love my face to face meet ups and when the kids were still at home here, it was a nice break for me to just hang out with the girls, have a glass of wine and chat books 😉

  3. You know, just reading this post makes me want to join a real live book club…I rarely leave the house in the evening unless it is for a breast cancer meeting and those, while worthy are for a cause…you know, not just for me…so maybe it is time…I think I will check it out…I remember before advocacy I used to take stitching classes just for fun…why not a book club?:)

    1. If you can find one, I highly recommend it. Our group has become so close through the years, I can not imagine life without them now 🙂 For some of the girls it is really there only out of the house time each month.

  4. I definitely enjoy being part of my book discussion groups. I am fortunate in being a librarian and starting both groups so I always have a place to discuss books. I also spend a lot of time discussing books with my colleagues 🙂

    I don’t think I would get enough discussion from book blogs to equal what I enjoy in my book groups. I have however belonged to online book discussion groups in the past (through Barnes and Noble, not sure if they still do that). I think that was a good experience and we all read the same book and answered discussion questions and responded to each other’s comments. You had to put effort into it but I find that format to be easier than just responding to blog comments and trying to remember to come back and continue the “conversation”. I still prefer in-person discussion. I am an introvert but I find that book groups are a comfortable space for me to communicate!

    I think it is an excellent idea to look for book groups to join through your local library, through bookstores, or even online. Goodreads has a number of online book discussion groups if that is more convenient than an in-person meeting. Coffee shops may also know about book groups. I moved my evening book group out of the library and we now meet happily at our local coffee shop. It feels less like a classroom environment than our library’s meeting room.

    Congratulations on your 3000th post!

    1. I like the book club connection, ans then I bring the book club connection here, talking about what we reviewed, what we thought, what we ate… its a win win because I love to bring my book club to Book Journey 🙂

  5. Happy 3000th post, Sheila! Online and in person are certainly not one and the same. But I think online *can* stand in for (or fill in the gaps in in-person) discussion and connection, at least to a certain extent.

    That said, my attempt to start a book club last year failed miserably, but I’m still hoping I can re-launch it this year, in such a way that it will not be so short-lived.

  6. I fall into the category of no book club/not many people interested in reading English language books and a severe shortage/expensive print books. Very few even have an iPad etc so for me the online intact is the only contact with he book loving public

  7. I prefer to participate in online book discussions. I have an irregular schedule and I can’t always attend book club meetings, which are not very close to my residence. Also, with the advent of social media, readers now have unprecedented access to authors. We can not only connect with other book fans around the world at the click of a mouse, we can also connect with our favorite authors.

  8. Okay, admitting this could make me sound a) antisocial or b) diva-ish but I have never had good luck with actual book clubs. I have never found a group that I could totally click with in terms of reading taste, and I read so many books that the idea of taking an entire month to read a book is sort of weird to me.

    To me, the advantage of online book chat is that I can always find a friend, old or new, who just read or is reading the same book. I have done many read-a-longs with online friends and had endless discussions via email or Twitter DM or text. And I have met many of my online friends in real life.

    Love the idea of the book club, of hanging out and drinking wine etc., but it has just never worked out for me. And now I sort of feel like the character in that Spike Jonze movie who falls in love with the voice of his computer and thinks that’s normal…

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Jen that is actually very valid (although I laughed when you said “diva-ish”. You are true, you can find what you like in the blogs that you read and pick and choose who is a fit for you. Read a longs are a great way to go a bit deeper on a particular book. Read along being almost the equivalent of on line book club. 😀

  9. I love my online book community, but I do want to find a in person book club! I have not had the greatest of luck in that department. I’ve been part of groups that no one reads the book, people why are we in this club then? A group that morphed into husband bashing, I got out of that one quick! and then one that choose mostly non-fiction books and I prefer fiction books. I will keep trying to find a group. Right now when my daughter and I read the same books, we get together for lunch and have our own group! Congrats on 3000 posts! Woo Hoo!

    1. I have heard on many book clubs like that *shudder* I am spoiled because I have never experienced that and now know that I never could be a part of a group that did not engage in the book. Here’s hoping you find an awesome group Nise!!!

  10. I’m with Jen on this one–I’ve never enjoyed book clubs. I do enjoy chatting about books in conversation, both on and off line. I belong to a lifelong education program for seniors. We have lecture/discussions on a variety of topics, including literature, and I like these discussions, but they are usually a one shot deal.

    I am a retired reference librarian and was never especially comfortable with the book recommending part of my job. I preferred digging for facts and helping with research.

    Reading is recreational for me and formalizing the discussion can make it more work than play. So I keep it casual.

    1. Casual works 🙂 As the person who usually moderates the flow of the group and brings the discussion questions I know it can be work. There are times I am scrambling to get it all together before the group meets. Once I am there though, it is all so worth it. 😀

  11. While I would love to join a book club in person, my agoraphobia and social anxiety keeps me pretty much home-bound. Therefore, online book clubs give me a connection and interaction that fills the void and also keeps me informed of new books and authors. :o)

  12. I had already started this conversation with Sheila on my blog but I have more to say 🙂
    I just joined my first in-person book club this month. I pushed myself to go out at night and drive a 1/2 hour away (and I don’t like to drive at night) because of hearing how much fun Sheila has with her book club. Granted my group is less than a year old and not very large, but I have hopes for it. I chose mine because it had women closer to my age in it, but there is another group about the same distance away with younger women in it if I want to join that too. I used Meetup.(org) to find a book club near my zip code. My son uses that same site to find friends when we move to a different area, you can find walking buddies, almost anything on it at no cost. Just wanted to add this to the convo for those who want to find a book club and don’t know where to find one. Thanks Sheila, for taking this discussion up a notch, and happy 3,000!!

  13. I’m one of those people who hasn’t really had good luck with face-to-face book clubs. I’ve had two of the problems you mentioned–working around other commitments, and book-club meetings that don’t discuss the book–but I think it’s also a personal thing. I chafe against the structure of book-club reading, and I articulate my thoughts about what I read better in writing. The book-blogging environment has more than met any book-club needs I’ve ever had ;-).

  14. What a LARGE roooound number! 😀 Congrats!!! And yes, each venue—whether online or face-to-face—has benefits and certainly differences. I agree that pretty much anything like this, in person, will go deeper and have more effect for the reasons you stated. What’s great about online is the very FAR outreach of people you wouldn’t or can’t meet face to face, so although “removed” in that way, it’s still something to embrace in its own way 🙂

  15. CONGRATS on your Post #3,000. That is awesome.

    Do you think that on-line book relationships can replace face to face ones?

    I love talking books online, but I like my physical book club too. So…my answer is a no. Having both is great, but face to face is my preference.

    Do you feel some can effectively do it all – discuss on-line books topics well and face to face encounters too? Should they?

    I think we can do both. 🙂

    Do you have other suggestions for finding face to face book discussions for people looking?

    Ask at work and ask friends. Church too.

    Is this just a crazy discussion and post #3,000 is a weak attempt to engage people in book chats?

    Not at all. I love hearing from, and hope you have 3,000 more. You are AMAZING.

    1. Great ideas! I had a book club I ran at church quite a few years back but I did not like that it was not as much of a discussion as I found myself in a teacher role which I did not want. Two book clubs I discovered was too much for me to keep on so I kept to my original one, the one I am still in today.

  16. I think doing both is idea. I like to take notes of what my book club says about a book and post it here to further the discussion even more. It’s a great way to never stop talking about a book.

    If you’re looking for a book club, is a great place to look! I know there are several in my area from this; too many to join!

    1. Exactly! I do that too…I love bringing my book club discussion to the blog as well. Thanks for the – I had not heard of that until today and you are the second person to mention it here. Clearly I have been under a rock 😀

  17. First, congratulations on your 3000th post. That is monumental!!

    I belong to several face-to-face book clubs and wouldn’t trade them for the world. Each has its own rhythm and dynamic, as well as interesting participants, many of whom have become good friends. As you point out, though, there are some things that just don’t translate as well in online communications. That said, I also enjoy online discussions and interactions with blogger friends. To me it’s like the print v. ebook situation–both can co-exist, both can be enjoyed, and it’s up to the individual to find the balance that’s right for her/him. Happy reading and discussing whatever the format!

  18. I am in 2 face to face book clubs. Each club reads different types of books and the discussions in one club are more intense than the other. One club has 30 active members while the other one has 10 active members. I also participate in 3 online book clubs which I enjoy too and wonder what it would be like to talk to some of the online book club members face to face. I am grateful for the friendships that I have made through the book clubs that I participate in.

      1. Unfortunately not every one responds in the book club with 30 people. It seems like it’s always the same people reviewing books and participating in the discussion Alot of the members seem shy and afraid to give their opinion on the book but at least they still like to come to book club. So that is ok too. We welcome everybody

          1. We meet in the group room at the Church that one of the ladies belongs to and we each pay a $1 towards the use of the room. Some members have quit the group because of the $1 fee.
            The smaller book club meets at a local real estate office conference room. With that group we bring food and drink items according to the book theme and it’s always a lively discussion.

  19. I like to read what I want to read, so a book club would not work for me. I have friends & especially family that read. We chat about books a lot. I love that.

  20. Like many others here, I’ve always had bad luck with book clubs. I’ve loved the book club members but the discussion was often 3 seconds about the book, 45 minutes of gossip, and 10 minutes of arguing about what to read next. Although a fun evening of wine and snacks and visiting, not very satisfying in terms of a book club.

    I’ve been toying with starting up the neighborhood book club again, but doing it as a kind of book salon — keeping the discussion on books, but not forcing everyone to read the same book. I’m still undecided though.

    1. I like the 10 minutes of arguing what to read next! 😛 I am pretty anal about our book group and always insist we review the book… I think we are all trained to do so now. I think it is important to have a moderator who controls the flow of the group. I think that is what has saved us. We too giggle, laugh, catch up, but the book questions and discussion I push every time 😀

  21. Hi Shelia,

    Great post! I tweeted it! I agree with you. On-line and face-to-face are different experiences. I enjoy both. I feel the more blogging I do, the more I get to ‘know’ people. But with face-to-face, surprising topics arise. Also face-to-face you actually hear the laugh – not just a LOL or Ha Ha.

  22. I too like both, face time with people and books, like a book club or friends that read the same type of books. But at the same time, I live far out in the sticks and can’t not make it to where these people live, so that’s when I turn to online sources. Either way I love to talk about books.

  23. Hi Sheila,
    Interesting post! I have participated in the Barnes & Noble online book clubs, and also joined 2 in-person book clubs about 6 months ago. One in-person club meets at a different restaurant each month to discuss the book. I am wavering whether to continue with this club, as several of the members, including the moderator (!) often don’t read the book – it makes for a strange discussion 🙂 I also haven’t liked many of the book selections from this group, which are always chosen by the moderator. Also, there isn’t a real sense of commitment – many members float in and out every few months so there really isn’t too much of a core group. I like the second club better. Although they don’t combine food and books, they do all read each month’s selection and there is always a lively discussion. In both clubs, the organizer also chooses the book selections….I wish it would be more of a group effort to choose the selections.

    As for the online clubs, there tends to be more in-depth discussion of the book as there isn’t a time limitation. I also find that the members of the online discussion groups have more thoughtful comments about the books. I don’t know whether it’s due to people thinking more when typing a comment, or the time limitations when dealing with a large in-person group.

  24. I would like to belong to a book club as long as they consistently pick the types of books I prefer. But I work full time. When I know of a book club I’d like to belong to. it meets at times that are too difficult for me, usually in the evening, wnen I don’t see well to drive. (I have bad night vision.)

    So I prefer to discuss books online.

    1. I like the diversity in our book club – there were books I never thought I would enjoy and found out I did… the book club forces my reading to stretch and I know I have found a lot of wonderful authors that I probably would never have read. (of course… now all are a win …lol) 😀

  25. I join in book discussions especially if I’ve already read the book. I always have some opinion to share.

  26. Maybe I should be ashamed, but my favorite LIKES on Facebook are the book-related pages. I sometimes skim over Facebook friends who just tell me silly stuff all day and read book blogs and publishers.

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