The Book Club

August 17, 2010



I have been in a book club for many years and have always found it one of my most enjoyable social activities.  Some of my fondest memories are of friends made and books read together in book clubs I belonged to while living in Santiago, Chile and London, England. I still try to keep in touch with some of those gals and inevitably we share titles we’ve been reading in our “clubs”.  Locally, many of us have fun cross-referencing our reading lists with friends within other book clubs. 

My most recent Book Club meeting with the current crew (see above) was the best ever – a sunny beach locale (hosted by a member at her summer getaway), a great book (The Disappeared by Kim Echlin) and a small but devoted, cheery, and engaged group of clubbers.  We were delivered by boat to our floating yellow platform with lawn chairs, books, and “provisions” in hand.  We chatted about the book, positively pleased to have had the opportunity to read it, and shared comments and observations with one another. We really could have chatted all night about the book itself but became distracted by the sheer glory of our surroundings and the fish leaping all around. Our chatter roamed off in philosophical directions … “If you could be anywhere else in the world right now … where would you be?”  Hard pressed to find anywhere better but a great conversation resulted just the same. As the sun set we were retrieved by our trusty captain and, after a brief detour for crab-trap hunting, were delivered back to the beach.   Heavenly!

So many people I know belong to book clubs and it seems these associations share similar successes and challenges.

Do you grapple with poor attendance?          

Can you still attend if you’ve not read the book?

Do you eat and drink? (Who just snickered?!  … Silly question)     

Do you stick with a theme or do you try something new every month?

Our club began with some guidelines:  must read book, must attend meetings regularly, paperback preferred, food and drink to be simple, hosting duties shared through the year, meetings at our homes (except when they are on the high seas!)  …

Lately we have been struggling with books getting read and meetings being poorly attended by about half our group. It is frustrating for the rest of us and I wonder if our book club needs a break – a fresh start?  Should we be more understanding about the busy-ness and the varying priorities?

What do you think? Is Book Club about the books or just the socializing? Tell us about yours! Describe your favourite book club meeting!

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