Hello from the Dogpatch. A while back, Amy Blackwood told us about her book club’s very unique take on book clubbing. Ever since, we’ve been after her to tell us more—and she did! Today’s post is courtesy of Amy, and we’d love to know what you think, because according to Amy:
It’s not about the book.
Is your book club feeling stale? Do you find you rarely ever talk about (or even read) the chosen book at your book club? Do you wish there was a way to liven up the evening’s discussion while still talking about great reads at your club’s gatherings?
Been there, my friend. Done that.
Don’t worry, there is hope for your book club yet! And I speak from experience.
You see, I have a confession to make. I’ve never been very good at book clubs.
There! I said it. You all know my dirty little secret. And if you know me at all, you’re probably thinking, how can this be? Amy is an avid reader, working-at-it writer and hopeless bibliophile; book clubs should totally be her thing, right?
Wrong. And it kills me. I really want to be a great book club participant! I mean, I love everything about them. Let’s see, there’s wine, snacks, books, fellow book lovers, a kid-free evening to discuss grownup literature, wine … What’s not to love?
And really, I am excellent at certain aspects of the concept (see above). However, it’s the structure to which I could never fully commit: Read this book, talk about this book, pick next month’s book, repeat. I guess I found it a little stifling.
And yet, I tried. I joined clubs enthusiastically, even started a couple! I’d arrive promptly at the gatherings, chosen paperback duly tucked under arm (and wine bottle in hand), ready to discuss The Book with a group of intelligent, wonderful people who shared my love for all things literature. And every time the evening ended, I left feeling refreshed and energized, happy to have such a creative social outlet.
Except, wait … my eyes would drift to the novel in my hand (the wine bottle long emptied and recycled), and I’d realize: We hadn’t really talked about The Book.
Wasn’t that the whole point??
No, it really wasn’t. Deep down, it was not the main mission of our gatherings – it was all a (gasp) front! Although we all adored reading, we just weren’t that into talking about the selected title. Oh, we’d start out dutifully enough, paging through a few chapters (those of us who had managed to actually read the book, that is). But soon the conversation turned to other things, and we pleasantly chatted amongst ourselves about daily life and current events. No one seemed to mind that our book club never really lived up to its purpose.
Which is fine, we all need a little social time! But like I said, these likeminded ladies and I really did enjoy books and reading! We wanted to talk literature!
Then one night, it all came together. Continue reading →