Saturday in the Stacks

Book Clubs – Yay or Nay?

Saturday is the perfect time to wander through the stacks (that’s librarian-speak for “bookshelves”) and talk about books and the people who write them. Pull up a comfy chair and settle in, because today I want to chat about a facet of the book loving community that I’ve always had mixed feelings about: book clubs.

When I was a young adult, I loved book clubs. I attended several monthly clubs hosted by my local Barnes & Noble that exposed me to a host of different kind of books and also got me better acquainted with the people who love to read them. I would never have read Douglas Adams, for example, were it not for a book club! I delighted in discussing what I had read with people who, it seemed to me, where just as enamored with reading and books as I was. I felt accepted; seen.

Now that I’m older, however, I haven’t been able to connect with book clubs in the same way I could as a child. Perhaps I am too set in my ways, but often when I consider joining a book club and see that they are reading a book that doesn’t immediately interest me, I pass on the spot. Maybe it’s that I have so much less time for reading these days. But shouldn’t that be all the more reason to join a club where reading is the name of the game?

These days, book clubs just seem like so much extra work to me. When I read, I read to lose myself in another word, to immerse myself in beautiful language and, yes, hopefully gain some new perspective and ideas for my own work. But I don’t want to read something and then turn around and answer a bunch of Lit Class level questions about the text! Is that so wrong?

Are you a big book club fan? What makes your book club work? Or are you like me, and frankly can’t imagine anything less appealing than joining a book club, even though you love to read? Let’s chat about it in the comments!

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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