Join the Top 11 Book Clubs in NYC

A book club is perfect for meeting new friends with common interests. Unfortunately, finding a New York book club is a daunting task. You got it right; even in the most crowded city in the US, it’s pretty tricky, especially if you don’t have fellow bibliophiles in your friend group.

So, in this article, we’ll make your search a little easier with 11 of the best book clubs in NYC, focusing on lively discussions and great books. Some even offer a relaxed setting to make you and other members comfortable and feel a part of the community. Not the talkative type? We found a book club dedicated to silent readers!

Bushwick Book Club

Logo of The Bushwick Book Club, a famous book club in NYC

The Bushwick book club is more than just a book club. It’s a place where book lovers, artists, and chefs come together to plumb the depth of various literary texts and, from it, create art.

The club started in 2009 on a dare. One of the founders, a songwriter called Susan Hwang, dared Steve Trimboli, the owner of Goodbye Blue Monday, to let her have a night of new songs inspired by books.

Since then, the club has gained a considerable following, with several branches worldwide, including Los Angeles, Portland, New Orleans, Santa Barbra, Greenville, Malmo, London, and Sweden.

The club posts all upcoming shows on its website, where you can RSVP or buy tickets online. The literature-themed events derive inspiration from various literary texts, including the works of Charles Darwin, Raymond Carver, and the thesaurus itself.

Literary Ladies Book Club

As the name suggests, the Literary Ladies Book Club is an all-women book club comprised of a group of women from all industries and locations. Alexandra D. organizes the book club and currently has about 287 members across New York and other areas worldwide.

The club discusses several book genres, including thrillers and memoirs, through virtual meetings on ZOOM, on the first Friday of each month. And, for those who prefer in-person discussions, the club also plans in-person social events in the NYC area.

Well Read Sistas Book Club

Well, Read Sistas Book Club is a black women-only book club. It welcomes all women of color interested in literature and stimulating discussion. And, unlike most book clubs in NYC, the club isn’t just about reading literature and discussing it.

The club also serves a community where black women can come together and discuss issues that affect them. The club nurtures this vision by creating a supportive environment for personal and professional growth.

There is a whopping 2,976 members, who meet at The Well-Read Manor in Harlem. They also live-stream all meetings so you can catch their discussions and participate anywhere in the world. 

You must RSVP for an appointment to get the manor’s address and streaming ¯¯ details.

The Upper West Side Book Club

The Upper West Side Book Club is open to anyone interested in reading and discussing literature in a casual, friendly environment. The club has about 2,788 members who meet every last Monday of the month.

If you like a little diversity in your literature genres, this might be the club for you. The book club reads and discusses everything from classics to new novels and memoirs. It’s also pretty easy to join. Click join’ on the group’s page, and they’ll send all relevant updates and information straight to your inbox!

The club understands how busy New Yorkers get, so it doesn’t have strict attendance or reading policies. You can turn up when you’re in the mood for stimulating literature discussions. While you’re at it, you’ll have to spare a $4 meeting fee collected upon arrival.

Books That Make You Go Hmmm

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us is that reading books together doesn’t always have to be in person. And the Books That Make You Go Hmmm found a way to make this otherwise unheard-of exercise fun.

The club hosts ZOOM meetings on various days of the week where they read aloud numerous forms of literature together. The club reads full-length novels, diaries, letters, and essays on Tuesdays, plays on Wednesdays, and any other form of literature the members suggest on Thursdays through Mondays.

Unlike most book clubs in NYC that focus on a few chapters every meeting, this book club reads through an entire novel in one sitting. Each session starts with a member recapping what the club read at their previous meeting and introducing the new literature.

The club then takes turns reading a few paragraphs simultaneously, only stopping for discussions as they go along.

The best thing about this mode of literature discussion is that you don’t have to prepare in advance. And, being a ZOOM meeting, you don’t have to dress up either. You also get to meet people from all over the world, and you don’t have to participate if you’re not up for it.

Silent Book Club

Logo of Silent Book Club, a book club in NYC.

If you’re an introvert looking for a book club in NYC where you can enjoy reading in companionable silence, the Silent Book Club might be the club for you. The club started in 2012 with friends who loved reading together but couldn’t keep up with traditional book club requirements.

So, they started a book club without reading requirements or the pressure to say something brilliant at every meeting. Here, you can enjoy your books, some company, and wine – without the added homework that comes with a traditional book club.

The book club is a global community with over 300 chapters worldwide. Anyone can join or start a new chapter with the club’s blessing. All you need is a friend, a place to read, and a book to start your chapter.

Manhattan Book Club

Manhattan Book Club's logo.

The Manhattan Book Club is an all-women book club in the lower east of New York that meets monthly to discuss modern literature. The club selects three monthly books – one featured book and two supplementary books.

Members can choose to read one or all books and then join the rest of the club for their monthly meeting to discuss it. You can sign up by submitting your name and email address on the club’s website.

NYC Chill/Anything Goes/No-Themed Book Club

screenshot of NYC Chill book club's meetup event.

As the name suggests, this is a low-key book club comprised of 187 members. The club hosts in-person meetings each month. Members mostly meet on weekends at midday in outdoor spaces such as a park or someone’s home if it’s too cold.

The book club votes on a new literature genre each month and has managed to cover several books, including Dominicana by Angie Cruz, The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave and many more.

The Luxe Library

Logo of The Luxe Library, a NYC book club.

The Luxe Library book club caters to members of all ages through its separate youth and adult book clubs. The book group for kids comprises members aged 3 to 17 years and hosts a wide range of activities, including reading, songwriting, games, merch making, and more.

Activities are scheduled to take place on various days of the week. However, the club membership carries a $50 monthly subscription fee.

The adult book club offers a luxurious social space where adults can shop, read, sell, and discuss numerous books. A $75 monthly subscription will give you access to multiple activities, including grant writing exercises on Sundays, quiet hour reading sessions on Mondays through Fridays, creative writing on Wednesdays, and much more.

Besides reading and discussing books, the book club offers complementary services such as comfortable seating, beverages, free Wi-Fi, free parking, an entertainment center, and much more.

Yu and Me Books Book Club

logo of NYC book club, Yu and Me Books

The Yu and Me Books Book Club is a bookstore, bar, and café that focuses on diversity, particularly on emigrant stories. The founder always dreamed of creating a place away from the bookstore.

The initiator pictured a place where readers from all works of life could come together, share their passion for reading, strive for change, and advocate for justice.

Book Club Bar

Book Club Bar's logo

If you’re looking for a book club on the lower east side where you can read books and engage in stimulating discourse with strangers as you sip top-notch coffee, beer, and wine, then this might just be the club for you.

However, you should note that this is not exactly a book club but a bookstore that offers the book club experience. You get to meet new people and sip alcoholic beverages as you read your favorite books. You can also attend any of its events in Manhattan’s book club east village.

Where to Find Book Clubs in New York City? 

Besides providing you with an abundance of literature across literally any genre you can think of, the New York Public library also organizes various programs, classes, and book discussions across numerous libraries throughout the city. You can check their event calendar here or find other book clubs in NYC through Meetup.

Another way to find book clubs or book discussion groups in NY is to check your neighborhood library.

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