To Book Club or Not to Book Club

May 3, 2011

I was sitting at the library earlier today and got to thinking about book clubs. Specifically, why the heck haven’t I joined one of those things? My local newspaper, the Kansas City Star, has a really big book club that they cover quite regularly. I’m a pretty big fan of this newspaper, especially considering it’s a papery paper that’s printed on paper and handed out as hard copy…papers.

So I dug around a little bit and found the list of books they’ve read since the inception of the club 11 years ago. It’s impressive. A nice mix of fiction and non-fiction, popular bestsellers and unknown authors.

The way this club works it that anyone can read along with the group, but only a select few are invited to actually participate in the discussions (aka. the opinions and photos that are published in the paper). They’re the “real” club members, I guess.

Alongside the list of books that the club has read was their contact information. If you wanted a shot at being part of the real clubby club, you had to email them a bit about yourself, what you like to read, and why you think you should be included in the discussions. I copied the address, jumped over to gmail, opened a new email, and…

…did nothing.

I couldn’t do it!

What if the book they choose was dumb and I didn’t want to read it!

What if I procrastinated (not that I do, of course, I’m just saying, umm, hypothetically) and didn’t finish the book in time!

What if I hated it but everyone else in the group loved it and I was too much of a wuss to say so!

What if I just wasn’t in the mood to read THAT book, gosh darnit!

What if I’m a control freak and I revolted against reading something someone TOLD me I HAD to read and I refused to touch it!

What if they were all smarter than me and picked up the underlying themes of the book and the psychology blah blah blah and I had no idea what they were talking about!

What if what if whatifwhatifwhatifWHATIF!


Are you a book clubber? How do you handle it?
Do you enjoy it? Hate it? Recommend it?
Are you thinking I’m crazy right about now?

Yeah. Me too. I seem to have an issue with book clubs.

I’m pretty sure I need to get over it.


Previous post:

Next post: