Although you know I love to read (don’t you?) It may surprise you to know I’ve never been to or taken part in a book Club. I’ve often thought about it, wondered what it would be like to read a book chosen by someone else, broaden my reading horizons, meet new fellow book worms. Then I usually abandon the idea for fear of sitting with a bunch of people who want to read the latest Booker Prize winning novel (who chooses these?) and have a dream of being an English Professor.
Talking with a friend about starting a book club, I started asking others whom I knew read a lot. This is how I was asked to gate crash. Come with me, she said, it’s very informal just a laugh, glass of wine, oh and chat about a book.
Why not. If nothing else I could get ideas on how to (or not) to run my own book club.
The book they were reading was Life After Life. I promptly borrowed a copy from the library.
The evening of the meeting arrived, my friend picked me up, and I confessed to her I had read one chapter and hated it. Only one chapter, I know, really need to put in more effort… but I did feel a bit better when she confessed she hadn’t even got herself a copy of the book!
The last to arrive we went into the front room of the hostess’s house where the wine and gossip were flowing, realising I knew two of the girls was an ice breaker, the large glass of wine handed to me was another.
Including me there were 12 girls, apparently this wasn’t the complete set, but not everyone comes to every meeting. There was about a half hour of chit chat, (I was starting to wonder if this was an excuse for mums to get together, drink wine and talk about their children and husbands, yes I was checking the exits at this point) some girls had brought a copy of the book they had read and sat with it on their laps waiting for the moment. That moment came when the leader of the meeting (I presume she was the girl who started the club, she seemed to be ‘in charge’ in a nice way), confessed that ‘So, I didn’t get to read the book’ there came heavy sighs of relief of the many who either hadn’t read it at all or had given up half way through, or just hadn’t finished it yet.
The book was discussed. Mostly confusion as I think only a couple of people actually liked the story, most didn’t ‘get it’. Life after Life was touched upon, (if you had your chance would you change anything?) wine was poured. Much unhealthy food was passed around. The next book was chosen from two which the hostess picked.
Receiving the round robin email about the next meeting I decided not to go. That’s not to say I won’t ever go back, the girls did make me feel welcome, I think the awkwardness was all on my part, but I will concentrate on my own for now.
Have you ever been to a book club?