From promoting silent reading to hosting author events, these book clubs across the country are every reader's paradise.
In Bengaluru, within the 300-acre expanse of Cubbon Park, where it seems as though colours radiate more brilliantly as the sun struggles to peek through the dense canopy of tree branches, a natural wonderland awaits.
This green haven has long been a paradise for nature enthusiasts, attracting cyclists, families with picnic baskets, and children on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.
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However, recently, this oasis has also witnessed a growing trend – a gathering of avid readers uniting to celebrate their shared love for books. While the city boasts its fair share of book enthusiasts, small book clubs have begun to emerge, and they warmly welcome anyone who wishes to join.
As we observed these bookworms engrossed in discussions spanning from Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ to the latest cheesy romance novels, an idea took root. The result? The Better India decided to take a stroll through various cities to compile a collection of book clubs that you can become a part of right now!
1. Delhi Book Lovers
One of the largest book communities in Delhi is Delhi Book Lovers. The club has over 8,000 members and has been growing ever since. The community goes beyond just book discussions and organises author events, writing retreats, and book releases. Its main objective is to promote reading and open discussions on varied topics relating to literature. It was founded in 2012 by Kunal Gupta and Meenakshi Goyal.
You can join one of their meets or be a part of the club by clicking here.
2. Cubbon Book Club
Almost a year ago, in December 2022, Shruti Sah and Harsh Snehanshu were on their regular cycling session in Cubbon Park. This is when the idea of sitting on the grass and simply reading a book came to them. They posted about it online and the next week six people joined them.
The club is simply where people read. Some sneak in food, carry their bedsheets and simply enjoy reading silently together. A Kindle user, an audiobook lover or an old-school book reader, there is a place for everyone here. The group has had over 100 book lovers joining them and the number keeps growing.
You can join the group on Saturday 9 am to 2 pm. There is no formal entry system and you can simply sit beside anyone and enjoy!
Follow them here.
3. Rampur Book Club
Brainchild of Tarana Husain Khan, an author who resides in Rampur, the book club was founded with six excited ladies with googled knowledge on setting up a book club – two teachers, a dentist, a farmer. “There are no bookshops in Rampur. There are, of course, shops that sell school books and academic texts,” she tells the Scroll.in.
The book club was Tarana’s attempt to bring the love of reading to her city and make the best use of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lack of bookstores in the city, the club heavily relies on Kindle and timely delivery of books from Amazon.
You can follow Tarana’s small book club here.
4. Hyderabad Book Club
Founded in 2010 by Sagar Sharma, Hyderabad Book Club has a membership of over 2,000 people. The group serves as a vibrant community for both readers and writers. The group has no age restrictions and meets up to have dramatic discussions on the month’s selected book.
The group also holds author meetups and book releases. If you are in Hyderabad and want to be part of this community, then click here to join the group.
5. Bound Together, Mumbai
Looking for a book club in Mumbai? Fret not because we have you covered. Founded by readers Delnaz Joshi and Aarti Chandhok-Kapoor, the book club selects a book every month and meets up in a bar or cafe. The book is selected through a voting process and the avid readers come prepared with their topics to discuss.
The club typically gathers on Saturday afternoons, with meeting locations usually alternating between Bandra and Colaba.
Join the club here.
6. Silent Book Club
In an era of fast life with people running from work to home and home to work, this book club in Delhi and Gurgaon gives its members a chance to simply enjoy the silence. As per an Indian Express report, “For around an hour, the attendees read their books silently. Once the hour is over, the participants have three options: chat among themselves, continue reading, or leave without further obligations.”
The club was started by Rachna Kalra, a communication and marketing professional, in September 2019 and it has over 700 members today. “The idea is to get people back to reading and build a community that enjoys being together to read and talk about books – conversation is optional. l liked the idea of creating an ambience that encourages people to read,” she says in an interview.
Join their future meeting here.
7. IISER Literary Club, Kolkata
The book club is organised by students of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, and follows a monthly book selection format. At the end of each month, the group meets to discuss the various aspects of the selected book and engage in lively discussion.
What’s different about the book club is that it also organises various interactive activities such as quizzes, panel discussions, debates, and short story writing competitions!
Join the club and become a part of their exciting activities here.
8. Kochi Reads
Every evening from 4 to 6 pm, the Panampilly Nagar Park in Kochi is filled with colourful mats with devoted readers peering over their books. Gopika Manjusha, the founder of the club says in an interview, “My favourite period in school was the library period — reading in silence with my friends sitting across the table.”
Her journey towards starting the club was inspired by Bengaluru’s Cubbon Reads. In its debut session, around 15 participants joined Gopika.
(Edited by Padmashree Pande)
(Feature image credit: Cubbon Book Club)