Seaside Book Club


Seaside Book Club –
Considering Book Club

by Virginia MacLeod – 

As we take a pause for the season with no December meeting, Deborah asked me for my thoughts about the success of our joint venture, the Seaside Book Club. I was reading about some of the top reasons why people join book clubs:

• You meet interesting people.

• You read things you wouldn’t otherwise read.

• Some books need to be discussed to be appreciated.

• You eat some great food.

• Sometimes it’s good to just chat and get out of the house for a few  hours.

After two years and 23 books with the Seaside Magazine Book Club I can confirm that all of these things are true and more! We have new friends and some members who have been with us since the very first meeting. Nobody has to clean their house to host us (Thank you SHOAL Centre!). Quince Café has shared some truly magnificent baking with us. It’s okay if you are away for a month (or longer). You can always follow along in the magazine and join in person when you can. And, Deborah keeps us focused on the books. 

Oh, the books we have read! At our meetings, we usually bring two or three options for the group to choose from. From time to time our members point out things like “we haven’t read a mystery” or “it’s time for some non-fiction” or “please, can we read something a bit lighter?” then we try to bring some as choices for our next read. The voting is always interesting and we often end up reading books we would never have picked up otherwise. 

How do we know it’s a success? I think about the U.K. cousin who reads all of the books we are reading, or the couple from Washington who planned their sailing schedule around our meetings. One of our long-standing members claims the club got her out of a reading rut. She said it was really uncomfortable for her at first having her reading directed by the group, but after a few months (the first year) she found it really energizing. She is still haunted by All the Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer.

The Seaside Book Club starts up again at our January meeting, Wednesday January 16 at the Shoal Centre from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We’ll be discussing The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.


Visit for more information and to sign up!

Book Club Q & A

Q How do you choose the books?

A The book selection is a little down to luck – each month the Sidney/North Saanich Library tries to get hold of a book club set for us to use. Availability is based on demand. So far we have had a choice between several titles each month, and have voted which one to use. Generally this will mean that people can leave the meeting with a copy of next month’s read. Book Club members can suggest titles they would be interested in reading from the VIRL book club sets list:

Q How do you structure the meeting?

A Members bring questions or discussion points with them, written down. These are put in a “hat” and drawn from to keep the discussion going. It leads to diverse questions and no need for anyone to feel self-conscious. The meeting is facilitated by Seaside Magazine’s Deborah and Sidney/North Saanich Library’s Virginia.

Q How do I stay up to date with Book Club happenings?

A Sign up for our mailing list and you’ll get meeting reminders by email. And follow us on Facebook to see everything that’s happening at Seaside Magazine!