Monday, July 17, 2017

Ramblings from the Stacks - Book Clubs

Back when the Tornado was little I joined a local mom's group to help him hang out with other toddlers and give me someone to talk to during the day who could actually talk back in full sentences.  It was fun and I made friends with a good number of the other moms.  So when the subject of a Mom's Night Out book club came up I was immediately on board!  People I could talk about books with!  Yes please - sign me up!

The book club started out pretty well.  It was mostly the same 6 or so women with the occasional straggler.  We talked about books some and other stuff and ate and all in all had a good time.  Then the split came.  50 Shades of Grey was picked and there was much outrage amongst the members of the club.  Some of the core members refused to read the book and formed their own club while other members of the group who hadn't joined the book club came to the meeting.  The discussion on 50 Shades was actually pretty entertaining though it wasn't a book I particularly cared for but the split was disastrous to the book club.  It turned out that 2 book clubs could not exist and they both just kind of fizzled away.

Then a year or two later another one started up.  Once again I was all in.  At first it was great.  We read Gone Girl, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey and several other books I really enjoyed.  But this because this was a book club that was associated with a mom's group the people who showed up were different each time and as the months went on less and less people read the book which meant we talked about the book less and less.  Then finally we had an influx of women who only read important books and when someone suggested a romantic suspense as the next month's title and they were horrified and made it very clear that that book was below them.  After that I was pretty much done.  I basically just wanted to go build a fort out of my Nora Roberts' books and binge read.  I decided I was done with book clubs or at least the kind that were made of people who weren't connected by books.

But I realized that I MISSED talking about books.  After I read something I wanted to tell someone what I thought about it and to talk about it.  That's one of the things that led me to book blogging.  I love talking about books.  I love seeing what other people think of books I've loved, or hated, or haven't read yet.

Awhile ago I noticed a flier at the library for 2 book clubs.  One a general fiction club and one a romance club.  I've been keeping an eye on the fliers and each month the books listed are books that interest me.  I'm considering giving book clubs another try.

What do you think?  Have you ever gone to a book club through the library or a bookstore?  Have you ever been in a book club?  What kind and how did it go?

14 comments:

  1. I've never been in a book club but I love the idea in theory. In fact there's one in the area that I've thought about joining, but since I blog so much now I just go with that. But a face to face club would be fun. And I'l never understand the "important books" thing, I've always loved reading for escapism/ fun so not sure why some people frown on certain books. Oh well.

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  2. I am a member of a local cozy mystery book club. We have a lot of fun and laughs. We have also been lucky to have authors join us by phone to discuss their books. I do enjoy talking books and it gets me away from the computer for a few hours.

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  3. I've never actually been in a book club, but for the last year I was thinking I would love to have a romance novel book club. Unfortunately I don't know a lot of people in real life that read romance, so I don't know who would join.

    Also, that one book club where some of the members acted like romance was beneath them - UGH!

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  4. I have always wanted to be part of a book club but haven't found one to join and I am not social enough to start one on my own. I looked at my local library but none of the books in the various clubs ever interested me at all.

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  5. I'll be in a Silent Book Club with Anna from Herding Cats because she came up with the brilliant idea that we can read silently for about an hour, then sort of talk about books we've read or other things in life. I'm sort of surprised that there are actually book snobs out there who judge what others read. Crazy. I do remember when there was a little bit of an online uproar because many of who had read erotic romance for years couldn't understand why the people who live that life and write BDSM from experience weren't recognized. Then when the movie came out, it was more madness. (lol) It made for a lot of good conversation in blogs and personal conversations that I enjoyed. For your own peace of mind, I hope you can get back into it for another try. If nothing else, it'll give you a new topic for your blog, right? *heh*

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  6. I kind of wonder if a bookclub started through a library or bookstore might end up talking about the book more than mine does. We have people who almost never finish the book so they have nothing to contribute and tend to start side conversations when we are trying to talk about the book. I'd love to be in a group where we could really discuss the book, no matter what kind it is. If you join one of the book clubs you're looking at, at least you already know they are likely to read books you're interested in reading.

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  7. I really enjoyed reading your book club experience. Interesting! I have never been part of one but kind of thought about it from time to time, I did turn down one invite because I thought the books might be too high brow for me. Both the ones you are thinking about sound good, I'd probably go for the romance, but then... there is such variety in romance books.

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  8. I'd give it another try Katherine. I'm in the enviable position of running Creative Writing classes for 30 weeks of the year, so inevitably we dicuss books, though from the other end as it were... I think talking through ideas helps to anchor in your own head how you feel about a book. It's just a real shame there is so much snobbery out there... There are a number of genres I don't read all that much - romance being one of them. But I'm very aware that writing a good romance novel takes a great deal of skill and I do enjoy the occasional romantic relationship in amongst the mayhem and adventure of science fiction and fantasy:)). Best of luck in finding a group where you can properly discuss books!

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  9. I've shied away from joining a book club - mostly because I have too many books to read already. I think it's great your library has a romance group and would probably join in if mine did.

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  10. I was sort of part a book club but I honestly never went. I was in SF at the time and didn't want to drive all over the Bay Area. I just may look for a book club around here. Unfortunately, I wasn't fond of the crafting group that meets at a restaurant so I'm on my own but at least I have Craft Night with my two, fabulous neighbors. I can't believe the book club split b/c of 50 Shades; a bit melodramatic for my opinion.

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  11. Never been in a book club besides some online ones and those are just not the same. I think it would be hard to get a group of people to agree on the same book. I do think it would be fun to try one but I live in a small town so doubt that will happen and I am not one to start one...lol.

    I love book blogging because not many in my family will even crack a spine so I have nobody to talk about books since my mom died so having a blog gives me that outlet. :)

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  12. I have never been a part of a book club but I kind of want to join one. I have never really seen anything that I thought I would fit with so I just started looking for people to talk about books with online. You're part of my book club :)

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  13. I've never been a part of a book club, but I love the idea of them! That's too bad that drama caused your book club to fizzle out. I started blogging for much of the same reason-- I love talking about the books I've read and the books I want to read and didn't have an in-person club to chat with.

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  14. A book club would be wonderful, but I have never been in one! That's a funny story (sorta) about people breaking up over 50 Shades! Wow....and book snobs...just ignore them.
    Now if you have seen flyers for a romance book club and you want to try it, I say go for it.

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