The Sunday Salon: Book Clubs

I’ve only been a member of two book clubs over the years. I love the idea of book clubs, getting to hear other people’s opinions on books. I have a friend from high school who is radically different from me, but we bond over science fiction and fantasy; his opinion is always interesting to me.

My first book club was Ex Libris, my high school’s book club. I was only a member for my junior and senior year of high school, since I was involved in debate and theater. Since it was so popular, it was set up quite efficiently. Every month, there were three different books that the officers and the faculty sponsors selected. I thought this was a wonderful way to run things. The three books were usually quite varied. I did tend more towards the fantasy and science fiction. Quite interestingly, I read The Left Hand of Darkness for this book club. I was very impressed with how my fellow club members discussed and dealt with the genderqueer element of it. Books should challenge you, and I was proud of my book club for not underestimating its members.

I’ve just joined my second, which is my college book club. It’s much smaller than my high school book club. We’re reading Sibyl by Flora Rhea Schreiber this month, but we do vote on books. I have high hopes for it–it seems like a great group of girls, and I was able to donate a superfluous book I won to the cause.

I definitely enjoyed my high school book club; I hope my college book club is much the same for me.

In other news, I’ve gone back to class, so I’m quite busy.  I finally have an English class. I’ve never been so happy to dissect poetry in my life. I’m still working through Vested Interests, but I ought to be done soon–it’s absolutely fascinating. I’m also working my way through The Hobbit; it’s incredibly clever. I have eight books waiting for me at my local library, but it’s too miserable outside to go and pick them up!

What are your experiences with book clubs?

8 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Book Clubs

  1. My book club (the second I’ve been part of) just disbanded rather acrimoniously I’m sorry to say. Both clubs were quite similar (they had a couple of overlapping members). They were small, and we chose books by consensus. Our books tended toward the usual book club books with a classic (usually from the 20th century) every now and then. We read nonfiction sometimes too. The main problem we had was actually discussing the book; we got off track much too easily. In the first club, it got to the point that sometimes most of the group didn’t even bother to read the book.

    But I loved having a monthly “date” to get together with friends. That was so wonderful that a couple of women from my last club and I have agreed to get together monthly just to socialize.

  2. I have been part of only one book club. It was a good experience. I was in high school and a respected teacher formed the group. It was supposed to be a teacher / student book discussion group, but in the earlier years, I was sometimes the only student there. That was okay. I got along well with ‘adults.’ 🙂 I am still in occasional e-mail correspondence with that teacher – she recommended Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to me last summer.

  3. I have never been in a book club, primarily because I’ve never had the opportunity. And while I often think I would adore being in one, I also know that my reading is so spontaneous and very much a starve-binge situation that I’m not sure I would be good at it.

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