Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience? – BTT
No, I have never been apart of a formal book club per se. I have discussed books with friends of things we recently read whether by coincidence or by choice. I really do not know how a group would choose. I guess it is good to have a theme or like minded tastes. Then it’s a matter of brainstorming and narrowing it down in one session. I think someone who may have read the book before or studied it (or read many of the selected author’s works) could lead the discussion. Or maybe it is a matter of taking turns, drawing straws, etc.
Though I do not speak from personal experience, I think it would be very interesting to read a group and discuss it with others. I do not think I’d appreciate it less; I would like to see others opinions on interpretation of characters, story, prose, and themes. I would very much like to be in a book club with only a few members, getting together to actually talk about books. I find that being bookish can be solitary and sometimes, I’d like the option for it to be social as you can learn from others and their perspectives. Though, I would not want to join the first book club I see. Books are still personal to me in a way, and I would want to make sure the club has people who genuinely love books and literature. I’d want it to be pleasant experience with people I know. It really comes down to the fact that presently I do not know many bibliophiles especially ones open to being in a real book club.
You make some good points about some of the criteria a club would have to meet to gain your interest.
Lovely blog header, by the way!
Those are some good points. I enjoy book clubs and miss being a part of them. The point you made about few people being part of the group. I’ve been in groups that have had too many people which makes discussion really difficult.
Yes, reading is a solitary activity so it’s nice to have someone to discuss books with.
Although this doesn’t meet all of your preferred criteria, I would love to invite you to join my new online short story book club! Here are the details: http://bookclubclassics.com/Blog/2008/06/12/btt-short-story-book-club/
True, reading is a solitary activity – and that’s part of why I’d like to be a member of a book club.