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Sun. May 19th, 2024

A unique ‘men’s only book club’ which holds its meetings at the pub, has formed in Armidale to encourage men to get back into reading.

The Armidale branch of the Tough Guy Book Club was started by now Chapter President Andrew ‘Dickie’ Silcock just over a year ago when he moved from Lismore to Armidale and was looking for a way to make connections outside of work. It started with just two members but has now grown to 10.

Silcock says the book club has encouraged men who lost touch with their reading, to get back into books.

“There was nothing out there for men who read. We have a good deal of younger men, married men, widowed men, and men who have retired,”

Once a month, they get together at the New England Hotel to discuss their thoughts on the chosen book which each member reads; with one rule, no work talk!

While they don’t always agree on their interpretation of each book, the discussion prompts a much deeper dialogue.

“The themes lead to personal life stories, and you begin to realise there are 6 or 7 men who have different perspectives, and those conversations are extremely important and valid,”     

The first Tough Guy Book Club started in Melbourne and has grown to a network made up of around 80 clubs throughout Australia, USA, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. 

Every chapter follows the same reading list and books are sent to each location every month for members to read and keep in their own library once finished with the aim of opening readers up to different genres.

“We did read some sci-fi a few months ago and I don’t normally like that genre so its good in that way,”

“It would be great to have more members, not necessarily for the Armidale Tough Guy Book Club, but for the men of Armidale.”

More information on their regular meetups can be found on the Tough Guy Book Club Facebook Page.

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