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As we grew older, it’s pretty normal that we didn’t carry things of the past over to make room for the present. This usually means we have to leave a certain version of ourselves locked away—the version who has time for interests and pursuits we used to visualize. Traditions faded as hobbies declined. Adulthood’s biggest casualty: Reading.

Who remembers the time before social media is king and we all have our noses in our books? Our attention span has significantly shortened because of technology. Surprisingly, it’s the same thing that can lead us back to consuming literature as we did many years ago.

As it turns out, the Internet has enabled ways for online book clubs to flourish. Instagram’s #bookstagram with accounts dedicated to bookish audiences and celebrity reading sites like Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Emma Watsons’ Our Shared Shelf have people reliving a hobby they have set aside—and in the prime of constant distraction, too.

If you want to be cracking the spine of a softbound or swiping the pages of an e-book anytime soon, here are four points on how online book clubs can help:

Communities make for refreshed familiarities

Online book clubs aren’t as different as traditional ones. Online communities just offer breadth and variety in terms of participants in these groups. Contributions are virtual, so it’s got a way for people to share and discuss whenever they want.

If your love for reading somehow died in a graded literary circle in school, the informality and leeway of joining Internet book clubs may be of use to you. Besides, it’s an opportunity to be introduced to a new perspective, which we all need sometimes.

Wider reading horizons

Did you ever think that maybe you stopped reading because you got bored of your comfort zone? Reading with strangers who have literary tastes vastly different from yours may prompt the reader in you again. If you’re one for fiction, maybe take suggestions on what to read opposite of that. Nonfiction can give a good contrast against your usual reads, which could only strengthen your personal or literary judgment.

Books that require discussions

Online book clubs are essentially forums, so it’s the best way to rouse raging conversations about books that need to be examined! If you already look at Reddit for anything after binging Netflix or listening to new music releases, what’s stopping you from forming the same habit with books?

People with the same (or different) interests

Expanding your reading scope comes with being social, regardless if it’s digital or not. Immersing yourself in an environment where you can interact with interesting people of similar/different backgrounds is a new
experience on its own! You don’t only get to know individuals outside your circle, you can also engage in thought-provoking talks of things you may not have done or thought about before. Be open to changes. They’re good.

If these reasons aren’t appealing to you, aim for related activities that will give you a fully-rounded life. Just know that regular reading is a habit worth recalling as it makes us smarter and more empathetic—and you owe it to your younger self to try.

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