Nobody could accuse me of being a party animal. I like getting dressed up, love drinking champagne but want to be home in bed by 10 and can turn into a very grumpy pumpkin if I'm not. So imagine my joy at being invited to a book club that meets during the day, over coffee and cake, where no-one is competing to prove how young at heart and groovy they are by staying out past their bedtime.
|My book club read: not your average thriller|
I had a great morning with my fellow book clubbers and am already looking forward to our next meet. I've been a member of book groups in London and in Sydney and this morning reminded me why joining one is such a smart thing to do:
1. It encourages you to read
This sounds like a no-brainer but life is so busy that it can be all too easy to let the joy of reading pass us by. Being a member of a book club makes it more likely you will embed this simple pleasure in your routine.
2. You'll read books you might not otherwise have considered
This can be a disadvantage as well as an advantage. I bitterly resent the claim on my time if I feel I 'have' to finish something I'm not enjoying and might otherwise put down. On the plus side, and this happens much more often, I read something I wouldn't have chosen myself, and am all the better for it.
3. You get more out of the book
Knowing you'll be sharing your thoughts and opinions usually makes you consider them more carefully. This analysis, no matter how casual, can enhance your understanding of the book and make you appreciate it more. Listening to other people's opinions can also help you see things you hadn't noticed yourself, another plus.
4. It's a great way to build friendships
It might be counter intuitive but joining a group where you know only one or two people can be best. Meeting new people is always a bonus and you're likely to get more from your reading if you're sharing ideas and views with people who have a different perspective.
5. You understand readers better
This one is probably just for writers. Now that I'm writing fiction, I'm very keen to understand what other readers are looking for. Not just what they love but also what turns them off about a book. It might make for challenging listening but I really want to know what makes a reading audience tick.
How about you? Are you in a book group? And what do you love/hate about it?