Friday, 8 March 2013

The Night I Went to a Book Club

I did it, I survived! I went to my very first book club meeting the other day and it was great!
I know you're probably thinking, why wouldn't it have been? Why would I not have survived? Don't get me wrong, talking about books with other people who have read them is almost as good as reading the book in the first place. I will pretty much chew the ear off someone who has just read the same book as me! But casual friend to friend chat about a book over coffee is one thing, and blogging and twitter too are fantastic ways to discuss books, but it's a whole other ball game going to an actual book club! Or so I thought before this week.

Now I've studied English lit at school and degree level, I know the pains (and joys) of sitting in a room trying to get a decent discussion with the class about a book, which at 9am on a Monday morning can be similar to pulling teeth, and  overanalysing every last minor detail until the main points are irrelevant in the end. Plus, I have read books about book clubs, The Jane Austen Book Club comes first to mind, and even books about clubs in general - I've read the Christmas cookie club, the knitting circle (tissue alert!) and countless others, and they're fantastic reads but each of them always generally involves a group of older people and somehow manages to connect that week's topic of discussion to their inner, personal lives. Going back to the Jane Austen book club, each member happens to host the book that reflects them most in life, with their dramas and emotions. What If that was what it was really like? I could be stuck in a room full of older people trying to read into my life from the connections and comments of the book! Even more reason for my panic - the book was The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared! What would they think??

But in fact, I was worrying about nothing (unsurprisingly), although there weren't many of us, we were all of similar age and possibly similar levels of shyness but, with the aid of the discussion questions at the back of the book, we got straight in to talking about our best and worst bits! I even bought the next month's book there as well (it was hosted in a waterstones cafe)!

What are your opinions on book clubs? Do you go to one or wish you did? They're a lot more harmless than they may seem (to me!) And so much fun too! Or even are you a member of an online book club? I know this is something that is expanding across the net and blogs, allowing people from all over the world to discuss a book together!
What were your first book club experiences like? Were you as nervous as me? Share them with me!!

Emily x


  1. I've never been to a book club, but I am thinking of setting one up for adults to discuss young adult fiction - think there's a gap in the book club 'market' there!

  2. I think there's a big difference between public and private book groups. We hold one in a pub and anyone is welcome to come along. We have a few members who have been there since the start but we always seem to have new people show up so it doesn't get clichey. We have set questions and they are always a good idea to get people started.