Imagining a better book club

As an avid reader I should probably belong to at least one book club, but I don’t. The reason is that I simply love books too much to try reading one that’s not a total delight. #Book clubs provide wonderful social and intellectual opportunities for readers and I think they are incredibly valuable instruments for meeting people and enrichingBookclub1your mind. However, they’re just not for me. While reading a book that’s not of my choosing might expand my mind, it also shortens my life and becomes too much like homework. It reminds me of plodding through Return of the Native in high school. I could have been reading something I loved instead.

One of the first questions I ask people when I meet them is, “Do you read much?” and “What are you reading now?” I love to hear the answers as I frequently get excellent recommendations. And it’s a great ice-breaker for interesting conversation. I could never understand the appeal of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was predominately recycled information and hardly qualified as ground-breaking. So, when I heard there was a discussion about the book at a local bookstore, I decided to go and see what I was missing. Only two people showed up – me and another woman. Even the facilitator was M.I.A. The evening did turn out to be worthwhile however, as the other woman introduced me to Wild Swans by Jung Chang which turned out to be a marvelous book. And I gave her the names of some of my favourite Canadian authors. Fellow readers are always great company.

I have summarized pages of unread titles I can’t wait to get at. I often read two or three books simultaneously while squeezing in time for my 18 monthly magazine subscriptions. My library card gives me access to thousands of books – free – on my IPad. If I’m really desperate for a particular book, I can pay to download it on my Kindle. And Amazon always has incredible deals on used books, often costing as little as one cent plus the cost of shipping.

The kind of book club I would like to belong to would be more of a Bookclub2“Show and Tell” affair.  I would love to share a cup of tea or a glass of wine with fellow readers while we go around the room and have each person show and describe what they’re currently reading. Each person would have a time limit for their oral presentation followed by a time-limited question period.

No matter how you access the written word, it’s magic. I always love discussing books with other readers. I should probably organize a Book Sharing Group but I’m too busy reading and, truth be told, probably a bit too lazy. Retirement can sometimes do that to you.

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