I have a wonderful bookclub. Reading and discussing books is a great joy of mine. The group of ladies who I do this with on a monthly basis are one of the great delights of my life. We are a mixed bunch. All from our regional town, some of us know each other very well, some of us have met through this group. Despite the fact that we may see some of our fellow readers in very few alternate contexts, we all have intersecting worlds and every meeting we discover someone has a friend outside the group that someone inside the group knows. It’s like that living in a small community.
About twice a year we put forward suggestions of some books we would like to read. From those suggestions there is a discussion on which of those suggestions most appeal to the group. Then we put a list together outlining the chosen books for several months in advance. We have read novels and biographies, fact and fiction. There are always books on the list that I would never normally pick up. Sometimes it is for good reason, other times I am ever so glad for the enforced read.
It is also agreed that whoever chose the book for that month supplies something to eat. If we can connect the food into something within the group – all the better.
We have have come together through our common love of books. We don’t all enjoy the same thing, we don’t all agree with each others interpretation of the book. We do find joy in the discussion, which often is far more encompassing than just the content of one book. We have developed friendships which are cherished and enjoyed, tied together by characters constructed by an author’s prose, simple written text. Yet during the month those character enter into our individual minds. Shuffling, dancing, plodding and spinning through our imaginations. As we all assemble and chat around the table, the characters come to life, jumping from head to head as we talk, and as they do our understanding becomes a little deeper of those characters and the women sitting and talking, explaining, sharing.
We don’t all read the book. Every month there will be someone(s) who has not finished, in fact it is not uncommon to have participants who have not yet opened to the first page. It does not matter. The talk can continue, our minds can be stimulated regardless. Conversation can be contributed to regardless. It is such acceptance of one another’s busy lives that helps the group to succeed.
Tonight Jonty asked me, “What do you do at book club, Mummy?”
“We read a book during the month and then we get together and talk about it.”
“Oh”, he says with interest, and then he scampers away yelling out, “Could I find a book for you to talk about?” He returned clutching his piece of literature with pride. “Mum, do you think the ladies could talk about this at book club. What do you think they would say?”
Considering the age of the children we mother – mostly in the under 8’s set – I very well think we could discuss that book, although more about the show it represents then the actual content of the book. In fact, I think it may have already come up in discussion before – right alongside Peppa Pig.
In the meantime, I’m grateful that the Under 8’s didn’t chose the selection. I’ve just finished sniffling my way through the ending of M.L. Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans”. A simply brilliant read as a plot twists and turns it’s way through interesting, yet flawed characters while examining and exploring some complex moral issues. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. (Another book club tradition is to rate the book out of 5)
Do you enjoy reading? Are you a member, or have you been a member of a book club? What was the protocol of your group?