Book Clubs – Yea or Nay

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So I got an invite to join a book club 2 years ago and was beside myself with joy.  I mean, BESIDE myself!

Finally!!!!  I had been “selected” to join this inner sanctum of female intelligentsia.  I would be participating in invigorating, thought-provoking conversation that would challenge me, and leave me pondering the philosophy behind every work of literary genius I would be reading!  Right?

Not quite…

Here’s what the reality of belonging to a book club turned out to be for me:

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  • A lot of “Oprah Book Club” like books.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  It’s just that I probably wouldn’t choose to read about 85% of those.  And therefore, out of the 25 books I’ve had to read while with this group, only 4-5 were worthy of mention and will stick with me. That’s less than 1/5th of the books I’m reading that I’m enjoying!  Yikes!
  • The books are mediocre at best; mediocre writing, mediocre plot. Forgettable.
  • Majority wins as to which books are selected every 4-6 months to read for the next 4-6 months.  Unfortunately, the majority likes using the NYT Bestseller list as a bellwether of great literature.  I’m sorry but I knew before I even opened the book that I wouldn’t be interested in the sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats when I’d only considered that book to be ok.
  • Not enough time to read as it is…so I have found myself getting frustrated reading a book for the club that I’m not interested in/don’t like, when I’ve got a giant backlog of books I cannot wait to get my hands on!

But you still need to join one if the opportunity arises.  “WHAT?” you say.

Well, the perks are:

  •  that I’ve met a wonderful group of women,
  • with a great diversity of opinions;  the discussions can become lively, which is exciting.
  • And I am forced to read books I wouldn’t have normally, and have found a couple of gems that way!
  • And I’ve discovered new authors, too, which is always fun.
  • And I get a night out with great women, glasses of wine, cheese platters and a book discussion.  Which frankly, any book discussion whether it be lively or not, whether it be about a book you like or not, feeds the soul.

At worst, you’ll read some books you don’t love.  At best, you’ll meet some great people from your neck of the woods, discover books/authors you wouldn’t have & enjoy some intelligent dialogue!

Below are a couple of links to try out to find something in your locale:

http://www.readerscircle.org/
http://bookclub.meetup.com/

and of course, your local library and other local town libraries offer book clubs, too.

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