Friday, March 12, 2010

Book Club

These is My Words, by Nancy E. Turner, was a hit with the club; so much that we chose the sequel, Sarah’s Quilt, as our next selection.

Are you in a book club? Not a “book of the month” club that requires you to purchase books. I mean a real book club, the kind where you get together with friends or other book lovers to discuss a book you’ve all read.

I’ve been in a book club almost four years. By the time I’d joined the group of neighbors/friends that started the club in 1997, they had already read sixty-eight books. Since I joined in 2006, thirty-one more have been read.

The setup is easy. Our group has twelve members, which is not too many to share one conversation, and enough to have a good number present when some can’t come. At most of our meetings, we have eight or nine.

We (except one of us) live in the same subdivision which makes it easy to attend. No excuse for “not feeling like the drive.” It takes no more than three minutes to get to anyone’s house.

Our meetings are scheduled every six weeks, on Monday, at 7:30 p.m. Everyone participates in hosting at their home, which means there’s about seventeen months (or a little less) before that member will host again.

Between 7:30 and 8:15, we socialize; standing around the kitchen table eating light hors d’oeuvres and drinking beverages while everyone’s still arriving.

Then we move to the family room, or wherever the comfy chairs are, and begin. The host, who chose the book at the previous meeting, will tell a little about the author and then we all jump in to discuss the book…freely. Sometimes the host has a reader’s guide of questions from the back of the book or an Internet site, but mostly, we wing it. While we are a serious book club, we are not as structured as some clubs. No reports, presentations, homework, etc., and we don’t spank if a member has not read the book.

Sometimes we have lots to say; other times, we finish early - a sign that the book is on the B list or below - and we go back to socializing.

About 9ish, we have dessert and coffee while the person on the list to host the next meeting shows us potential books to choose from. Or, occasionally, she will make the decision without the others input.

Most of the time, I’m back home at 9:30.

This is our version of a book club. There are many other types, I’m sure. Libraries typically have book clubs, and then there’s always Oprah.

Are you in a book club? Ever thought about it?
If so, what’s your club like and what do the members get from it – fun? intellectual stimulation?


Cindy said...

I'm not in a book club and never have been but it's something I've always had in the back of my mind as something I think I'd like to do. I just didn't want to jump into one that only did the Oprah book picks, for example. Maybe I'll check into starting one of my own so I have some control over the books! lol (I am such a control freak.)

Robin said...

I would love to be in such a group or club....sounds like so much fun...!!!..the drinking, socializing and all of it...Oh and the book too....!!!

Kaytee said...

I've been wanting to be part of a book club for a while now. I joined one at my church for a short time but given that I was the youngest by at least 25 years and all the books were religion based, I didn't last long. I should start my own! Hmmm, that's something to think about. Thanks for the inspiration =-D

Joanne said...

I'm not in a book club either, but love the whole idea of one. The closest I come to being in one is that my daughters and I often pass the same book among us, and so we disect it, ruminate and consider it as it makes the rounds. It's not the same as a genuine book club, but it's interesting to get our different takes on the same read among us.

One Photo said...

I too have never been in a book club but would absolutely LOVE to - I love reading and what a great way (and excuse) to socialize and talk about something other than Mommyland!

What about an on-line bookclub? We would not get to socialize face to face but it could be fun and I think it could work and provide some much needed stimulation to my brain. Anyone up for something like that?

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

That sounds so fun! I'd love to be in a book club. This has got me to thinking. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Just letting you know that I went back and edited the post to add 10 Ebay tips. Maybe the list will grow by other bloggers. Have a great weekend!

Michelle Schraudner said...

I've never been in a book club, but it sounds like so much fun!

yonca said...

I'm not in a book Club.But,being in a book club sounds fun.I'm a slow reader.After I started blogging I don't have to much time to read books. I started a new book two days ago, I don't know when I can finish it:)

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

No book clubs that I know of here but I would REALLY be interested in hearing about some of the books you have read-maybe a short review? I'm a bookworm but I have to order all my books online because we really don't have much of a bookstore here...could you place some book reviews on your blog once and a while...? I'd (am I'm guess others too) be very interested in reading them!
Thanks Anita :)

Bernie said...

I have always wanted to be in a book club, living in a small town I have yet to hear of one but I have met ladies who read as much as I do.......ummmmmm I should start one as you have given me an idea of how to go about it. Thank you for sharing.....:-) Hugs

Unknown said...

I've never been in a book club before. I think I'd get in trouble over analyzing the author and the author's style and choices. My sister and I loosely discuss books as well as Grey's Anatomy. We tend to be critiques so maybe it's for the best that I don't join a book club. I'd more than likely be asked to leave! LOL

Hilary said...

I used to be in a book club,when I was newlywed. It was mostly women that I new from college or the spouses of men I knew in college (A majority of us ended up buying first homes in the same area). it was more of a snacking/social club where we sometimes talked about a book we purportedly had read, and mostly talked about transitioning from collegian to professional/wife/etc. I would say most of us read the books, and there were some that never did, but it was just the opportunity to get together that kept us coming back.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I'm not in a book club because, where I live, people are not inclined.

So, what I do is read a book, give it to my husband, mother, sister, step-mother....and then I have someone to discuss it with! It's not even CLOSE to the same thing, but it will have to do.

I would love it!

Abby said...

I think I would like such a thing, and I think what really makes them is the other members - almost moreso than the books! Would you say?

I was invited to join one once by a mom at one of my kids' schools. She and I would chat while waiting for our kids, and I thought hers would be a good book club for me to join. Wouldn't you know, we were just about to move! DANG!

gayle said...

This sounds like so much fun!! For years and years I have wanted to be in a book club. No one I know belongs to one! Wish I lived near you so I could join yours!! Can't wait to read more about your club..hope you do post more about it!!

Anita said...

Hello EVERYONE, so far, only one person that has commented "was" in a book club. I'm a little surprised, because all of you are readers and/or writers. But...I'd never been in one either until my late forties. :)
You never know how people will respond to a post; if it will be interesting or not. After reading your answers, I'm glad I decided to write it, because I may have encouraged some of you to give it a try.
CINDY & KAYTEE - You talkedk about the types of books. Yeah, you do have to have some guidelines in the club. For example, we don't choose current bestsellers, because we don't want anyone to have to buy an expensive book if they don't want to. We like for the members to be able to get it at the library or less expensively as a paperback.
We don't limit genres, but we like to diversify so that no one will be bored. Also, not a rule, but books that may highly offend a member are not chosen. One member had recently lost a family member, so we bypassed reading a book that someone had written about experiencing a death...just for a short time period.
AGING MOMMY - I like the idea of an online book club, but I must be realistic. Don't think I can fit in reading another "book club" book along with my current one. I think you should try to get interest though; maybe even set up a blog specifically for the book!
NAKAMURAS-I haven't reviewed books on the blog...well maybe just a little blurb. (click on my label - books and other reading stuff). I guess I haven't done it because if it's a good book, I don't know if I'll do it justice.

My phone's ringing...I'll continue in a minute. :)

Anita said...

BERNIE - Let me know if you decide to do it!


Arlee Bird said...

Not in a book club, but might consider it if the opportunity arose. I'm kind of hungry for intellectual stimulation and this might be a good way to do it. I used to enjoy college classes when I was younger and this might be like that in many ways. I'll have to keep my eyes open, although I don't know if where I live a bastion of English-speaking intellectualism.

Georgiana Daniels said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! I love reading, and often wish I had someone to discuss the finer points of the book with in person. Plus I love snacks, so it's a winning combination!

Rebecca S. said...

The book club I most recently belonged to was affiliated with our library, which is great because they have 12-20 copies of each book on their book club list (no scrambling to find a copy). I really enjoy getting together and talking about books with people, but the downside is that I value my reading time so much that if I don't enjoy the current book it feels like a waste of my time. Now if I were in a book club where I got to pick all the books, or my mom picked all the books - that would be great! :)

Unknown said...

It sounds like you have a great book club! I too love reading and sharing.

Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Chapters From My Life said...

I love books and would love to join a book club but where will I find readers of Books in Byndoor??? Good idea Anita ...

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Anita, no time for reading books let alone going to a structured meeting about them. Maybe when my daughter is a bit older, I'll be able to get in to the habit of enjoying a good book once in a while. Sounds like a great social outing.

diney said...

I'min agreat book club - we meet every 6 weeks and have a glass or two of wine and a few nibbles, chat for about an hour then the person who chose the book leads the book conversation. We discuss the book for maybe an hour and continue with our chat and gossipo til about 11pm! It's great fun - there are 12 of us. I was in 2 other book clubs too but couldn't keep up with all the reading! Pop over and see me at my place sometime!

Anita said...

ARLEE BIRD - Maybe you can start an online book club - a blog for everyone to chime in? It's been mentioned in the comments of this post.

GEORIANNA - You never know when the opportunity might arise. :)

REBECCA - I used to feel that way too. It does take committment to read a book that you may not be thrilled about. I didn't join the club until I was ready for the challenge. So far, so good. :)

JULIE, FARILA - Yes, the club is fun, but not necessary. Glad you enjoy reading! :)

MENONEWMOM - Yep, book reading has its "seasons" in life. And it's gotta be the right timing to get anything out of it. Can't be forced and enjoyed.

DINEY - Thanks for the visit!
Your book club has many similarities to mine.


Iva Messy said...

I'm not in a book club but I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE to read!!! I read as many books as often as I can!!

Anita said...

Good for you IVA! I feel the same. :)