An Articles Club

Three years ago, I posted about a random idea I had for an articles club. “An articles club would be just like a book club,” I wrote, “But we’ll read articles. We’d all read the same story—from, say, The New Yorker or Elle—and chat over wine and snacks. It would be fascinating, timely and a much easier commitment than a book club (because, honestly, who ever finishes the book on time?). And it would make the winter feel fun.” Well, my friend Anna and I started one, and here’s what it’s like…

The evening starts at 7:30pm, so Toby can stay up a few minutes late and say hi to the ladies. He gets to eat some guacamole and chips and tell a few jokes before padding off to bed.

He always tries to sneak in a few extra minutes:)

Then the evening begins! We discuss the article and share anecdotes and philosophies. We also drink wine and eat snacks, of course.
articles-club-cupofjoWe usually choose an article that feels relevant to our lives—typically about friendship, career, work/life balance or relationships.

The fascinating thing about an articles club is how close you get to—and how much you learn about—the women in the group. The conversations get intimate pretty quickly—we’ve talked about marriage, breakups, parenting, career goals, what success means, the saddest and happiest times in our lives, depression, body image, aging, feminism, religion, everything under the sun. I’ve learned things about my friends that I hadn’t known after years and years of friendship, since we end up talking about such specific, deep topics. It’s wonderful.

Here are some of the articles we’ve chosen:

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear

The “Busy” Trap

Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?

Surprised to See Me: The biggest shock of losing weight is the (sometimes weird) reaction by my old friends

Why We Cheat

Is There Life After Work?

Why It’s Smart to Court Your Friends

How to Be Polite

Masters of Love

Would you ever set up an articles club? They’re so much fun and the best part is you can read the article on the way to the club! I always leave buzzing from the female friendships. :)

  1. Laura says...

    I remember reading that post about an articles club. I’m so glad you did it! I totally wish I could join in the fun!!

  2. TB says...

    You have great taste in articles. Thanks for the suggestions, and for posting them.

  3. Great idea Joanna. :)

    I often think about being a future hostess in my own home. It’s hard nowadays because I don’t have many nor acquaintences. Yet with the little (3) I do have I can surely host an article club!

    It sounds so wonderful and exciting.

    Thanks for posting, and enhancing ideas for me to better myself and loved ones through transparency and friendship.

  4. Brilliant! It’s easier to find a group of people agreeing to read an article vs suffer through the same book.

    I launched Sister Media – Women’s Business and Survival Magazine.

    I would love to get feedback. Warning! It’s very, ummmm, authentic and tongue in cheek ; )

  5. This idea is great. Also, could you tell me where you got that aztec/geometric black and white throw you have on your couch in a couple of the pics- I love it!

  6. I absolutely LOVE the idea of an articles club! It is hard (for me, at least) to make friends and have deep relationships with other women after college! This seems like the perfect excuse for women to get together, to chat and get to know each other over wine. Love it.

  7. I love this idea and I am definitely going to try to start it up in my group of friends! Quick question; where did you get that great New York Poster in your last photo? It’s great!

  8. Great idea. Passing it along to my book club. And thanks for the link to the Masters of Love. Fascinating read. xo.

  9. This is a wonderful idea! I love sharing articles with my friends, and would love to facilitate a conversation about them. Thanks for the brilliant idea, and for sharing your articles!

  10. What a brilliant idea! I’ve always wanted to be in a book club but I live in a tiny village where none of my neighbours are willing to commit to reading the same book as everyone else. I’m pitching this article idea… if I throw in the wine, how could they refuse!? Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. I love this idea and so much more manageable than book club at this time in our lives (well, at least mine!). Thanks for sharing! I’m going to start one with some of our school-mom friends. Will keep you posted! Cheers.

  12. I love this idea. So much more likely to happen and have longevity than a book club.

    I often read articles that I would love to talk about with other. Maybe I’ll start this for my group of friends too.

    Thanks for sharing the idea! xx

  13. Love this concept. I can’t wait to try it with my friends. Thanks for sharing the articles. :)

  14. This is the best idea ever. Having just finished my Masters, this would definitely help fill up the void left of no longer being a student. A great way to have conversations both laid back and intellectual! and spend time with your friends!

  15. This is an absolutely fantastic idea in theory. In practice, I think it would tend to generate more stimulating/cerebral comments than, say, “I loved that character in the book…”As well, the length of articles would be ideal for those who simply can’t find the time to indulge in reading novels. Going to discuss the idea w/ friends over dinner this eve!

    Bath Tub Bliss

  16. We start next week a discussion club around work/life, mothering and general contradictions of modern women’s lives.

  17. Oh I love LOVE this idea. I’m going to try that -online and in real life!

  18. I love this idea! I just wouldn’t know ow to get started, though, being in a new city where I’ve already got quite a few friends, but not many of them into reading. Did you invite women who you were already close with or bring in someone new? I would love to get to know new people.

  19. I find it very fascinating that this article club has created deeper connections with friends by discussing meaningful issues that might otherwise be passed over for surface chatter that we North Americans are so good at. I am Canadian. I get it. We do not open ourselves up as well as other cultures.

    I have been taking advantage of the young-and-free-and-no-responsibilites phase of life by travelling like any post University grad. I have spent months travelling Europe and recently lived abroad in England. In this time I have definitely learned to open up more and have real discussions with new people I meet. It really is amazing that I have been able to learn so much about new friends over a pint one night than I have learned about friends I have had for years. And I am so grateful for the new relationships I have created because we were able to talk about something meaningful instead of simply discussing how good the beer is. I think it is a combination of interacting with people from different countries who express themselves more openly as well as the immediacy of only having one night to get to know someone.

    I think that this article club is a fantastic way to make those deeper connections within existing relationships. It is definitely something that I would be interested in starting at home. Thank you for the great idea!!

  20. I just read the “Those are not fighting words, Dear” article – wow! I would have loved to discuss that one with a bunch of women. What a great idea!


  21. This is such a fantastic idea!! I love this idea.. you are inspiring me on trying to start my own articles club!

  22. Sharon, right? Love that you guys are friends! Love both of your blogs!

  23. Check out RoleReboot!

    Role Reboot is a contemporary culture magazine about living “off script.”

    From the statement about the founders…”They thought about the millions of American women who get together each month for book clubs. They thought of TV shows like The View, where women meet each day to hash over current events and issues. They decided to convert the curriculum into a format for small groups, and tested it out using printed “course packs,” with an intergenerational discussion group of women in Boston”


  25. this looks like such a lovely idea!! i’ve never thought about an articles club before and it really look great!! i’m gonna keep this in mind! have a nice weekend!

  26. Great idea! I really enjoyed the “masters of love” article. I especially like that it ends with hope. Couples who do not exhibit the right qualities for a lasting, happy relationship, need to practice kindness. Can’t we all use a lesson in grace and kindness in ALL our relationships, not even just with our partners. Love.

  27. This is an absolutely adorable idea. I never get to see my girlfriends enough, and I would like to do something that doesn’t involve us going out to a bar (which is usually what happens in NYC, it’s just so convenient).

  28. Kelsey, most Canadian households (and Asian, I understand) are shoes off! People automatically take off their shoes at the door, unless otherwise instructed, for precisely the reason your husband gives. I don’t want gum, spit, or dog poo traipsed around my house. Shoes outside, slippers inside!

  29. Hi Joanna! I started one and wrote about it a couple of years ago. We’re an anti-book club, actually called the Ladies Short-Form Media Auxiliary, which means read short blog posts, articles and Youtube videos and chat about them. Here’s the piece I wrote:

    Sadly, we’re defunct now…We all had kid #2 and now we can’t even find the time to read articles. But this post makes me want to revive it!
    Sarah Lazarovic

  30. I love this idea! What a sweet way to get together. And thanks so much for posting the articles you’ve discussed so far. I’m looking forward to reading them!

  31. If I still lived in Brooklyn, I’d totally angle for an invite. ;)

    I did actually become friendly with a woman whose blog I used to read when we both lived in Brooklyn! One day she sat down right next to me on a bus and I felt weird saying something to her, but I also felt weird NOT saying anything, so I told her I recognized her and introduced myself. We have a lot in common!

  32. This is genius! Book clubs are such a commitment and we just end up drinking wine and talking about life anyway. This is way more doable and interesting. Love it.

  33. What a lovely idea!!!! I might adopt it :)