Christy needs to Blog: Death of a Book Club

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Death of a Book Club

My friend Colleen and I were talking about our book club yesterday when she came by for a visit.

"I was talking with S. about book club the other day," she says to me.

"Yeah?"

"She asked me if I was "over" book club. She said 'I am so over book club!' Tell us something that we don't already know; she never goes anymore."

Well, it turns out that neither of us miss book club either. Hardly anyone can be counted on to go and people rarely let the host know if they can't make it. The host goes to a lot of trouble to clean, provide wine, make snacks and do sundry other preparations and then it's a crap shoot if anyone will show. When people do show, the majority of people haven't read and they conversation degrades to "mommy talk" which isn't why many of us go to book club. I go - well, went - for intellectual conversation with a group of smart women who shared at least one thing in common: the book of the month. If I want to talk about how to make your own baby food, the bizarre sizing on children's clothing that varies greatly from one manufacturer to another or how many times it is actually possible for one 25-pound person to poop on a given day, I'll call Colleen or Jessica or one of my other friends who is a mom and chat about it. Book club was supposed to be an outlet for my starved intellectual side, not more of the same life I live day in and day out (I love it, but sometimes one needs a break). I wanted to talk about how the heroine of a novel is brilliant or stupid or inspiring. About how the plot of Novel A is similar to that of Novel B - that we read several months ago - but wasn't it interesting how differently the authors talked about the subject? If you don't read this month's book, you can't be a part of the main discussion. If you haven't read the book from several months ago, you can't compare it to this month's book.

Suffice it to say, it just wasn't fun anymore.

I am sad that it's over and that it has just kind of fizzled out. Colleen and I brought this book club back from the dead once. I was once a part of another book club that just fell apart when the self-proclaimed leader moved out of town. When people from the old club quit coming, we invited a whole new group of women to join us. For a long time people read, we drank, it was fun and interesting and a break from our normal lives. Now it's just more of the same and feels, well, pointless.

Perhaps I need to create an online book club. I'm not sure how to do this - perhaps a blog with several authors and anonymous voting to choose the book? Is this even a good idea? Is anyone interested?

Edited to add: Well, I set up an online book club. You can find it at Ravenous Readers here in Blogger. I hope you'll come play!
posted by MamaChristy at 6:49 PM | 1 comments | links |