I’ve loved discussing books since I was a kid and I’ve wanted to be in a book club since I learned such a thing existed. My first year of law school I joined a Short Story Club. The idea was that most of us didn’t have time to read books (which really wasn’t true if you gave reading some effort). We met a few times, but then the founding members graduated and by the time we returned from our summers, we’d forgotten about the club entirely. When I was a 3L, some other classmates put together a book club. We met once in the basement of a Starbucks and discussed Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. However, finals and my own graduation were soon upon us and we never met again (I think they may have continued it the next year). So my first two attempts to join one of these book clubs I’ve been hearing so much about failed.
I’d been toying with the idea of starting one myself. I just wasn’t sure who to ask and I ended up doing nothing. A few months ago, my friend Lisa asked me if I wanted to join a book club she was forming. I eagerly said yes and waited for the club to come together. Unfortunately, there were some issues with the others Lisa had asked and the book club never made it past g-chat discussions.
At this point, I was determined to be in a book club, so I told Lisa I would find people. I asked my friend/neighbor, Erin, because she has relatively recently gotten back into reading after having her beautiful daughter. She excitedly agreed. And then I asked another friend, Raven, who is an English teacher because I often end up discussing books with her when we go out anyway. She agreed as well. We are a bit spread out across the bay, but everyone seemed willing to drive a bit.
Today is our first meeting. Raven thought it might be interesting to read a book that was being released as a movie for our first book since it might get the discussion going. The four of us chose Shutter Island. Due to some poor planning, a very busy week at work, and distracting nature of The Olympics, there was some doubt I was going to read it in time, but I managed to read the entire book yesterday and finish just before midnight. No thoughts now – I’ll write a review later and tell you how the book club went.
In a few hours, I’m meeting Lisa, Erin, and Raven at the movie theater to see the film and then discuss both afterwards. I’m very excited to see how this book club works out. The three other members do not know each other (Lisa and Erin met once but it was a weird night so I don’t think it counts) so I’m anxious to see how the group meshes. I’ll give you all an update soon.
Since my Sunday Salon posts tend to pose questions for my readers, here’ is this week’s:
Members of book clubs: How did you get the first discussion going? Did everyone get along right away?
Nonmembers of book clubs: Do you want to be in one? Have you thought about starting one?