At the beginning of summer, I thought it would be cool to join a real book club. I never really thought of doing one before and I thought that book clubs just did not exist anymore. I Googled book clubs in my area, and low and behold, there was a book club! I was so so excited! I immediately went out and bought the first book and read it in only a few days. After discussion, everyone goes out to a restaurant to eat and continue talk on books (my kind of dinner).
This particular book club has been going on for (wait for it. . . ) 11-12 years. YEARS. And I think to myself, ‘Why have I not heard about this? I could have been doing this for my whole college career!!’ I’ve really been missing out. This club is independent from my local library, but they still use the meeting rooms. I arrived early, and was literally bouncing on the inside (‘I’m in a book club!!!’). The first book was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawking. It was published this year, so many people were interested in the book. We sat in a circle and went around, introducing ourselves and giving our opinion of the book. Since there were so many of us, we took up the whole hour going around. There were discussions that popped up as the opinions continued. It was a lively discussion all around. Before I knew it, the hour was up and it was time for dinner. Not many people came to dinner, but the conversation was all about books (I was in heaven!).
The next month, there was less people, but conversation was still good. The organizer of the book club brings discussion questions. When the discussion lulled, the organizer would ask a question that she got off the internet.
The books are chosen 6 months at a time. Recommendations are made every 6 months and we vote on what books we want to read. It’s quite simple. If the book is being made into a movie close to the time we read the book, we will all go to the movies.
So one question is probably ‘Why join a book club?’ I joined because I wanted to meet people who loved books as much as I do. The discussions about symbolisms in books that we’ve read has really fascinated me. I read for pleasure and enjoyment, sometimes for enhancing myself intellectually, but most of the time I do not see the connections or symbolisms. Why did the author have the mentally handicapped Frederick draw spirals all day in All the Light We Cannot See? Every word of an author means something, and without book club, I never would have realized that.
Another reason I joined book club is to branch out my reading genre. We read The Lady in Gold and it was not a book that I would have just picked up off the shelf. It’s a nonfiction book about stolen art from the Austrians in WWII. The cover wasn’t really appealing nor the summary. But I enjoyed the book and it encouraged me to read more nonfiction. I’m having discussions and reading books that I never thought I would do.
Book club has been a great thing for me. I only wish that it was more than once a month.