Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Book Club

Having never been a part of an official "Book Club" before, I was surprised and very excited when the company I started working for a little over a year and a half ago said these very words to me while interviewing "We have a book club here, as well as a small library in the back where you can check out or donate books for others to share and enjoy." My attention was completely captured and I knew I was going to join immediately if I got the job.

The first meeting was very exciting for me. I even made notes on the characters so that I wouldn't forget the points that I wanted to make during discussion time. We stayed in the office for this meeting, so everyone brought snacks and drinks to share. The turnout was pretty good, there were about 10 people, and from what the others said, it was probably the biggest meeting yet. The book was Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner, which I thoroughly enjoyed, this having been my first Jennifer Weiner book.

So here I was, finally in a real book club, which is something I probably should have looked into before since one of my greatest passions is books, and I geared up for the next meeting which was another Jennifer Weiner book, Good in Bed. Someone had put almost all of her books on the list and we were slowly making our way through them. I was kind of disappointed that we weren't meeting very often, and since I read more than one book every quarter (probably more along the lines of 20 or something embarrassing like that) I found myself waiting until the last minute to read the books. I am really bad about remembering what happens in each book, and since I read so many, I did not want to get them mixed up.

(Side note: I have decided that from now on, with the books that I own, I am going to write a short synopsis, including my feelings/emotions after reading a book and put it in the front cover. This way, if I ever want to glance back without rereading the book, I will be able to remember what my thoughts were on that particular book.)

Over time the book club basically became a social gathering instead of an actual book discussion, and we started losing quite a few members. Not long ago, I was put in charge of the club, and went about restructuring. My first suggestion, since people would come having not even opened the book, was to only pick books that were also movies. That way, if someone ran out of time, or was not interested in actually reading the book, they could watch the movie and then we could discuss the differences between the book and movie, since we would have a mixture of people that had done both. Well, we did not even make it to the first meeting before people started saying that they could not make it. So, I yet again restructured the meeting to where it would actually resemble a Book club. Having only members that wanted to meet and talk about the book we had read. Each person was designated a month, and on their particular month they would be the host. By being a host, you picked the book, the meeting location, and were in charge of facilitating the discussion. We decided to meet on a monthly basis, and had our first official meeting on Monday. There were only 4 people that attended, but I feel like we had a pretty good discussion, and afterwards, instead of just social chit-chat, I was amazed to find us still talking about books in general. How we find new authors, where we shop for books, our bookshelves and home and the amount of space our books take up, as well as what we do with our books after we finish them.

Overall, I think that this newest edition of our book club has a real chance of being a success. It's nice to actually be in a group where you feel comfortable talking about a book you read, and if for some reason you did not enjoy it, or thought it was going to be one of your all-time favorites, you have people to share this with. Our first book was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I really enjoyed the book and will post a review soon. I am really looking forward to our next meeting, and my hope is that overtime, our club will expand to include more book lovers, but if for some reason it does not, at least I know that those who are there want to be there, and they are the ones I can go to in the future for referrals, or just to share insight into something interesting I read.

YEAH for books!!!

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