Posted by: Andrea | August 27, 2008

On Reading

I spoke to my mom and dad on Sunday, like I do every Sunday.  For me, Sundays are ‘talk to mom and dad’ days.  Unfortunately due to the vast time difference between Scotland the west coast of the United States, the only time that I’m not working or asleep at the same time that my parents are not working or asleep is on the weekends.  It inevitably means that the conversations are normally filled with ‘so what did you do this week?  What’s new?’

Well, my dad usually says ‘how are things?’  Then he listens for around five minutes then he says ‘well, I don’t want you to have to repeat everything you told mom…’

Not a big phone talker, my dad.

So this past weekend I was thinking about what to tell my mom and dad.  As soon as my mom says ‘what have you been up to lately?’ my mind started running over what I’ve done this past week.  And I came up with…not a lot.  The most I accomplished was to make a batch of cookies and go running a lot.  This is not the makings of an exciting week.  I mean yes, I went to the parade thing and that was fun and I met up with a bunch of friends and that was fun too.  Though I ended up drinking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, which is FAR too much alcohol for a 29 year old to be drinking.  But how much do I miss beer?!  I met up with a friend Friday night and since I only had two drinks I had some beer.  Some yummy, yeasty, hoppy beer.  YUM.  I’ve generally stopped drinking it because when I’m out with friends the whole round requirement makes me get drunk far too fast.  Plus a pint is A LOT of liquid.  And I won’t drink those girly half-pints.  I do have my pride.

Sorry, off on a tangent there.  I was thinking about my weekend and the past few weeks and I realised that I’ve kind of fallen into a rut.  I go to work and I come home.  I usually sleep for 20 minutes on the couch then I go for a run with friends.  Then I have dinner.  Then I watch an hour or so of TV while simultaneously surfing the internet and cross stitching.  Then I go to bed.  On Wednesday I go rock climbing.  I’m seriously yawning as I write this.  How boring a life is THAT?!

My goal is now to get OUT of this rut.  So my idea?  I’m going to start a book club!  I’ve mentioned this to a few of my friends and quite a few seem interested.  I sort of wanted to do it to meet some new people, which creates a dilemma.  I could a) start a group with friends I have that are already interested, b) join an already existing group of people I don’t know at all or c) start a group and also recruit new people to join.

So this is where I turn to you, all my lovely blog friends.  Hello friends!  I need help.  Have any of you been in a book group or started one?  How do you go about recruiting new people?  Any tips or suggestions for how to organise or how to get it off the ground?  Any pitfalls to avoid?  I’m kind of excited about this but it could all fail horribly.

My goal is to get a good mix of males and females and a good mix of literary interests.  I hope that we can read some fiction, some non-fiction, some fantasy, some sci-fi, some biographies and just about everything else out there.  I know there are many people who only read one thing and ONE THING ONLY SO HELP ME I WILL NOT READ THAT FANTASY CRAP.  I have quite eclectic tastes and I think it’d be good to open those up to all sorts of suggestions.  And if I could inspire people to read something other than the norm, so much the better.  If I could mix that all up with a few interesting new people too, that’d be a huge bonus.  So.  How do I do this?  Anyone?

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Responses

  1. Hurray for book clubs!!! I love them…they bring together some great minds. I remember attending a meeting for a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy, only to find that, after the discussion, I really did like it after all!

    As for starting your own–hmmmm. I’ve always wanted to do that very thing, but have never really thought about how to do it. What if you chose 2 people, and each of them had to invite another person, and so on until you had 10 people or so that were committed?

  2. I’ve never seen an eclectic book club work outside of “the interwebs”…but then, I’ve only been a member of two book clubs, one on the internet and one in the real world, so my experiences are rather limited.

    As for how you go about starting one…I have NO idea. Since most of the people I see on a regular basis are co-workers and my obnoxious ass neighbors, I’d have no chance of finding 10 like-minded or even concurrently curious people.

    As much as I like some of my co-workers, I can’t imagine sharing conversations about something as personal as my reaction to a book.

    That’s why an Internet based book club is easier in my opinion…you can all read the material, talk about it in a common forum and then have a once a month “meeting” via skype.

    Sadly, that book club folded after two years just a few months ago. It’s something I do miss with some regularity.

    I envy people (Essaytch, I’m looking at you) who have local book clubs with real faces that participate regularly…

  3. I stumbled across your blog while looking for people blogging from Glasgow, I’m always interested in what people think of life in Scotland (I’m a Scot now living in France). As chance would have it I’m in a book club.

    There are eight of us on the mailing list but only four of us meet regularly. I think between four and eight is good number.

    We meet once a month at each others houses. There is no pressure to provide food if you are hosting, a cup of tea and maybe some biccies.

    All members should commit to reading at least 100 pages of the selections. For me this is important, a certain about of commitment is needed or it just doesn’t work.

    For book selections – each member brings 3/4 books to the meeting and the other members vote for one. This means that everyone can get on with their own reading and the reading list is pretty varied. We have been on the go since January. It’s best to have 3/4 months reading decided at a time so that everyone has time to get their hands on the books.

    If you want to look at our previous selections click here
    http://vescancybookgroup.blogspot.com/

    You’ll find reviews of the books if you click the reviews tab on this blog
    http://www.theblether.blogspot.com/

    Good luck

  4. Hi Sher, thanks for the suggestions! I hadn’t considered planning 3-4 books in advance but it would make a lot of sense to do it that way. I agree, commitment is important or there’s really no point. I was hoping to get maybe 6-8 people but if more people are required to make sure that there are enough to have a discussion I’ll have to consider that too.

    DC, I never would have considered a book club online before you mentioned that. It would be a great way to meet like-minded people for sure. Maybe if this idea totally doesn’t work, it’s something I can look into!

    Essaytch: I think I’ll use your suggestion of asking a few friends to ask their friends. Maybe that way we’d get a good mix of people. I have NO idea if any of this will work, but at least I have a good place to start. Thanks you guys!


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