Pune Book Clubs Every Bookworm Should Join
Ask any Punekar about a good read, and you’re sure to be entertained for hours and hours of conversation. No matter the genre or age, Pune is right up there on the charts as a city with a whole bunch of voracious readers.
Being the cosy next-door-neighbour to Mumbai, it’s not surprising that the Pune demographic of young, hungry, trendy and tech-savvy individuals have a literacy culture. That culture has passed from generation to generation and only seems to be getting better. Proof of that is the very fact that Pune has a district dedicated to books of all sorts and now houses India’s largest bookstore, one that is 20,000 so. Ft. And owned by Crossword, the hugely popular chain of bookstores.
If you’re the sort of bookworm who enjoys good books coupled with yum food, Pune should be your city of choice. Listed below are Pune’s most popular book clubs you can’t afford to miss.
Pune Book Lovers
Despite being barely a year old, Pune Book Lovers has already become a hugely popular book club. With nearly two thousand active members, the book club is clearly the most sought after in Pune. Apart from weekly updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages, the Pune Book Lovers also organise meetups twice a month on every first, and third Sundays from 11 am onwards. The club has no members restriction and is open for all sorts of book lovers, young, old, avid or first-timers.
Pune Book Readers Club
Established in 2011 and now five hundred members strong, the Pune Book Readers Club is for anyone who is interested in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, anthologies and other popular book genres. The club has a unique setting where one member is assigned to bring a book and host an event with topics that relate to that book.
Aundh Book Club
Situated in the book friendly district of Aundh, the Aundh Book Club is restricted to its residents, making for a rather small, yet well-read group of a hundred and twenty-four people. The club is split into two small groups, with one group meeting on Thursday evenings and the other on Saturday mornings.
Business Book Readers Club (BBRC)
The BBRC is a closed club for professionals who enjoy serious reads like politics, finance and business. The club has monthly meetups that are organised by one member of the group who enlists a few books for the others to choose from. The club also discusses fiction novels that deal with similar serious topics.
Pune Book Fair
The Pune Book Fair is Pune’s most popular literary event and is held every year in the month of October. Like most other book fairs across the country, this fair invites thousands of crowds to indulge themselves in a week filled with all sorts of good reads. There’s also room for international book publishers to showcase their best novels. A highlight of the fair is the inclusion of books for people with special needs, with the 2012 fair having popular novels in Braille and text-to-speech forms.
If you’ve already learnt how to start a book club, here are a few things you need to do to make sure your book club is running smoothly and only increases in popularity.
Narrow down on your member demographic
Successful book clubs are not necessarily defined by the number of members, in fact, the lesser you have, the better and easier, it becomes for you to manage your book club. Before you start letting the word out, make sure you have narrowed down on lists like the total number of members and desired age group. Keeping things short and sweet increase the meet being full-house.
Make a meetup planner
Before your very first book club meeting, send out mailers and Facebook notifications to your club members asking the mutually preferred time and date. Once you have a clear idea as yo when every member is most likely to be free to attend the meeting, you can confirm that as the monthly or bi-monthly standard meetup date. Also, try to strike a deal with a particular location that can be used as your regular hangout zone.
Rotate meeting hosts
To keep things interesting among your members, have one of them host a particular meetup. They will be given full responsibility for selecting the type of book that is to be discussed. Rotating your hosts can help keep your members on high-alert when it’s tie for the next book club meeting, and they will take up the responsibility in a more enthusiastic way.
Keep the food light
The promise of great food is one of the biggest selling points in most events today! With book clubs, however, it’s best to stray away from that promise. Most book clubs choose a location where food and beverages are readily available, but if you are organising one at home, don’t get stressed out by the food requirements, simply keep the menu light and simple, or you could even request a potluck of quick bites.
Selection of books
Baes on your member demographic, selecting a book or a theme of books can make the meeting ore fun and keep your members prepared. Always try and select books that none of your members and you have previously read; this helps keeps things fresh and brings out more insightful conversations during the discussion.
Don’t make it only about books
Strange but true, over time, just having meetups for the sake of book discussions can get boring. To keep things fun, have you and your members go out for a movie (that is based on a book) or gang up together to enlist for any upcoming fairs. You can also change your regular meeting spot for once by having candid discussions out in open spaces like a park.
Are you on the lookout for the best meeting spots in Pune for your book discussions? The list below can help you.
Books Café Ssong, Aundh
Owned and run by a Korean, this pretty little café has elegantly designed interior comprising of wooden furniture, classic Korean teapots, comfortable cushions and a wall decorated with Polaroid pictures. You can make a great meet up with the light-hearted menu of coffee and sandwiches.
Perks n Brews, Viman Nagar
A good hangout for young readers, this café, offers great stuff like free WiFi and a bookshelf comprising of novels and magazines that you can take home as long as you replace one book with another. The menu is youth-friendly with burgers, pizzas, sandwiched and cool beverages. There is also a wall dedicated for post-its, where you can share your best moments while reading away in the café.
Fat Cat’s Café, Wanowrie
A European themed café, Fat Cat’s offers readers a delightful experience with its well-stocked bookshelf and yummy eats. The dense chocolate cake and red velvet cake are popular attractions. They also offer a season-based updated menu so you can always expect something fresh and exciting with every meetup.
Pune is truly a city with an open book for you to read on obsessively. If you need ideas for the next book to feature for your book club meeting, have a look at these 9 Booker prize-winning books