BTT ~ Clubbing

June 12, 2008 at 8:46 am | Posted in Books, Literate Housewives Book Club, Reading | 10 Comments

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

I have always been envious of those who are members of a book club. As an adult, I’ve attempted on two occasions to start my own book club. There was only one meeting for both. I’m not sure why they didn’t take root and thrive. Perhaps it was because both groups consisted of friends and/or co-workers that I see all of the time. The last attempt was held at my home and I made a spaghetti dinner that I served on the Currier and Ives china that my grandmother gave me as a wedding gift. I can’t remember the book we selected or even how we selected it. We did discuss the book, but not for long. It really ended up being a girls’ night out. It was a fun time, but my beloved book club just didn’t happen.

Currier and Ives China Plate

Living in a rural area that is at least 30 minutes from where there would be a face-to-face book club, I decided to try again using blogs. Last year I started Literate Housewives’ Book Club after deciding with my best friend, Trista, to read Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult. We chopped the book up into sections and I led the discussion. That book was terrible, to say the least. Trista and Blithely Blabbing were regularly participated in the comments, but there were others who participated as well. I enjoyed the experience despite the actual book. Our second choice was made based upon suggestions that we made. It was The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud. That book was by far, even compared to Perfect Match, the worst novel I read last year.

Blithely Blabbing hung in there with me despite the fact that LHBC was 0 for 2. We decided to start reading Water for Elephants at the beginning of this year and I received some really good comments from many different readers about how to hold an online book club. I never got that last book off the ground. The first part of the year was just too busy for me to keep up two blogs. I would still love to host LHBC, but I’m afraid that it’s dead. I’m not sure what would happen if I resurrected it.

Eventually my desire to read and discuss the same book with other people will drive me to try again, one way or the other. I hope to one day find the book club for me.


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  1. In small towns, I think it’s very difficult for a bookclub to take root. I found myself in a similar situation and like you, I also turned to online sources for book discussions.

  2. It’s always nice to know that I’m not alone. Which online book discussions do you participate in?

  3. You know, I lived in a city and still did not find any book clubs. There probably were but I just wanted something like you described. But for many people is is just a social time, which it is, but the books matter too!
    If you are starting up an online book club, let me know!

  4. It might be worth following the example of my book club, if you enjoy wine. And if you wouldn’t mind checking out my answer on my brand new domain that would be fantastic!

  5. Jaime, I will let you know if and when I do something with LHBC.

    Dev, congratulations on your new domain!!! How exciting!

  6. P.S. That is GORGEOUS china!

  7. Near my new house, I don’t find any library, let alone book groups. Intellectually this seems like a drab place!

    Booking through clubbing

  8. I hope you do try again, and that you find some books that fit your taste better. Every book doesn’t have to be a smashing success but there’s got to be something enjoyable about it!

  9. This reminds me of something a friend said at our book club meeting on Sunday. She was talking about a club she’d been in a few years back, and she said The Bee Season was “the book that killed the book club” LOL. I guess The Emperor’s Children was that book for you!

  10. The trick seems to be have random books chosen that readers post a review by a certain time with links inviting comments. By random, this could be they nominate and can vote and what is the highest vote for that month is read the next month etc

    My his he being serious post!

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