On reading

I have been in a book club for a few months now and I find the experience very beneficial.

So far of the books we read, I really liked two, I really disliked two and I mostly liked another. One of the two I deeply liked was the book that I suggested, so that might not really count. So what is so good about reading with a book club?

First, I read books that I would normally never pick up. I have my favorite niches and genres and I like to find my books there. I mostly read science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books. I rarely venture into other isles. There is of course the occasional historical fiction and literary fiction book, but I dare you to find me in the romance or mystery section.

Now, with the book club, I read what the other members suggest. And that might be very far away from what I would have picked. So this is broadening my horizon quite a bit. At least one of the books I would have never picked ended up on my favorite list. And guess what? It came from the mystery section.

Also I get to introduce my friends to genres they probably would not pick. I am getting them to read young adult and I turned one of them into a fan of that category already.

Another perk is, that I have to think about those books. I have to be able to articulate why I did or did not like them. I have to sort through my reactions and figure out if the topic of the book captured my attention, if the writing style was working for me and if I would read anything from this particular author ever again. I am learning and I like it.

A positive side effect is, that this helps me in my work. I get to know what works and doesn’t work for me in reading. I can use this information in my writing.

Then there is the whole scheduling aspect. We are going out and meet to discuss a book. We make the book, and by that books in general, the center of our attention. And for someone who likes books as much as I do, that is deeply satisfying.

Lastly, sharing your thoughts about a book is a social aspect that I usually don’t get so much. Reading is usually a solitary activity. I read a lot and think about what I’ve read, but because nobody else in the house has read the book, I usually don’t talk about them. There are exceptions, of course, but talking about a book is not a regular thing. With the book club I know that there is someone else out there too, reading the book and that we will talk about it later.

So yes, I consider reading within a book club time well spent.


About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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4 Responses to On reading

  1. iamjjstone says:

    I love my book club! In fact we are meeting tonight after taking the summer off. I agree that it really expands your mind to consider genres you wouldn’t have necessarily tried out before. Me, I never read fiction (unless the author is dead!) so when someone suggested Hunger Games I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Great blog post!

    • Thank you. I enjoyed ‘The Hunger Games’ too. I did read them by myself, because they sit right in the middle of the genres I like. What books did you suggest to your book club?

      • iamjjstone says:

        Funny you should ask, because the one I suggested was the least well-received!! I don’t think anyone finished it! I suggested This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. I’m really into neuroscience. But some books we read were Boomerang by Michael Lewis–a book about the economy which is surprisingly entertaining–Peter Pan, Hunger Games, The Sea Wolf, Life of Pi, E=MC2, World War Z, and I’m struggling to remember the others. What about you? Any good suggestions for our upcoming year?

      • The one I suggested and absolutely love is “The book thief’ by Markus Zusak. We also read ‘Middlesex’, ‘Joyland’, “Half broken horses’, and ‘Flight behavior’.

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