James Bryce once said, “The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.” Reading is a pleasurable solo experience, but you can get even more out of what you read by joining a book club. Tampa Bay has a wide variety of book clubs to choose from, no matter what your literary interests are. Check out some of these popular Bay Area reading groups to find your next favorite book and meet some new friends.
Progressive, Young Readers of Tampa
5137 North Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL 33603
This book club is geared toward forward-thinking individuals that are open to reading classics, global literature or even books on Oprah’s Book Club list. Readers will enjoy a new book each month and then get together for some serious discussion at one of Tampa Bay’s many first-rate cafes or eateries. There is no age limit, it is open to both men and women and membership is free.
Reading Between the Wines Book Club
See website for location schedule
What goes better with a good book than a glass of wine and some good friends to share it with? This group is open to both men and women, but typically picks books that might be more interesting to the ladies. Recent book titles in this group include “Unclean Spirits” by M.L.N Hanover, “I’m Not Her” by Janet Gurtler and “Vengeance Born” by Kylie Griffin. Membership in the group is free, but potential members must fill out an application on the website and all members must be 18 or older to join.
Page Turners Women’s Book Club
See website for location schedule
Move over, gentlemen — this club is for the fairer sex. Page Turners is open to women of all ages that love to read anything and everything — from mystery to romance to non-fiction. Every four to six weeks, this group will convene on a Saturday or Sunday at a restaurant in the Tampa Bay area for lunch and book talk. Membership dues are $1 per person per meeting.
The Real Deal Book Club
St. Petersburg Public Library
3745 9th Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
The Real Deal is all about non-fiction books. If that sounds like a narrow selection, think again. The Real Deal has featured all types of fascinating and enjoyable works. Some of the recent selections include “Stiff” by Mary Roach, which documents what happens to human cadavers; “The Wave” by Susan Casey, which is an investigation of colossal and freakish ocean life; and “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson, which documents the terrors of an American family living in Berlin under Hitler’s reign. Science, history, biographies and economics are all on the menu at the Real Deal Book Club. Membership in this group is free of charge.
The St. Pete Book Club for Singles
260 1st Ave. S. #100
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
This is not your average singles club. This group is geared for members in their 30s through 50s that love a good book and are looking for that special someone that shares that love. The group organizer makes a deliberate effort to choose books that are appealing to box sexes every time, and membership in the group is free. This group meets every other month on the first Wednesday for dinner and a lively book discussion. Who knows, you may find your new favorite book or even your soul mate.
Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.