Looking to join a bookclub but not sure you have the time? How about an online bookclub that allows you to read and discuss from home? Matthews, NC native Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, 43, started SheReads.org in 2009 with her pal Ariel Lawhon. Not only did Marybeth begin a bookclub, she is also an author and mom of 6 kiddos! Keep reading to see how she does it all plus how you can join her group.
And best of all, Shereads.org is partnering with MomsCharlotte each month to share a great book for moms to read! Click here for this month's selection!
Q. Why did you create SheReads?
A. She Reads was created out of a conversation I had with my best friend about how we were often asked by friends what they should read. We realized that our knowledge of women's fiction and voracious reading made us experts in what books were worth reading. We thought, "Hey we're already doing this in our own sphere of influence, why not do it on a larger scale through a website?" And thus, She Reads was born.
Q. What exactly is SheReads?
A. We see it as an online book club. We select one title a month that will appeal to the largest cross-section of women readers. We cull through countless titles to arrive at these selections and do our best to present a variety of themes and premises and characters throughout the year.
During the month we have multiple posts from that author, a recipe created for that book, a Twitter chat, a forum, and other fun ways to experience this title. This is the place for women who love to read, but don't necessarily have the time or ability to meet face to face, to get that book club experience. It's also a place for existing book clubs to get ideas for what to read next.
We've slowly gained the reputation for consistently selecting books that are worth reading. Our aim is to create a community of women who feel that "story is the shortest distance to the human heart," which is our motto. We also offer posts featuring other note-worthy titles throughout the month for those women who, like us, read far more than one novel a month!
Q. How does the book club work?
A. The best way to experience the site to the fullest is to subscribe to the daily posts so you don't miss a thing. You can also join the forum and take part in our Facebook group, follow us on Pinterest and Goodreads, and participate in the chatter over at Twitter! We also send out a monthly newsletter highlighting our pick and a few other choice posts.
Q. Any types of genre your group mainly focuses on?
A. Women's fiction-- books generally (but not always) by women, addressing the stuff women deal with
Q. What is your book for this month?
A. THE PERFUME COLLECTOR by Kathleen Tessaro
Q. What are your duties with the organization?
A. I work in development. We are constantly trying to grow, brainstorming new ways to reach readers who might benefit from knowing about this resource.
Q. How can our readers join?
A. Just go onto the site and subscribe to the newsletter or to the daily posts by entering your email in the boxes on the sidebar.
Q. How many books have you written? Their titles?
A. My fourth novel came out in June. It's called THE WISHING TREE. My other novels are THE MAILBOX, SHE MAKES IT LOOK EASY, and THE GUEST BOOK.
Q. What was your inspiration for your novels?
A. My beach novels are inspired by spending time at Sunset Beach NC-- my favorite place in all the world!
Q. How did you find time to read, write, plus take care of 6 children?
A. Can I get back to you on that? I'm still figuring that out... :) No seriously, it just somehow comes together and what must gets done, gets done. I do a lot of juggling and have a great husband who helps me remember my priorities. I subscribe to the Jacqueline Kennedy quote: "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much."
Q. Any tips for other moms about how to make time for reading or writing?
A. There's always time for the things you love. Even if it's 15 minutes here or there it's more pages than you'd read (or written) if you hadn't done that much. I was particularly inspired by a book called PEN ON FIRE that really helped me see that all my excuses were for naught. If I wanted to write, I must write. As for reading, I think it's super important for kids to see you reading-- investing in books, valuing them yourself. I invite my kids to snuggle on the bed with me and bring their books and we read together.
You can find more info at www.shereads.org