Tonight is the first meeting of my book club post-summer and the theme is to come, meet new members, and discuss the kinds of books we want to read this year. The kind of books we like to read.
I found myself at a bit of a loss. I'm sitting here in my office, in my small but chock-filled library, and I am having trouble deciding what to say.
You'd think it would be easier. I've been around books all my life--my first "library" was an ancient wardrobe with an old fashioned key that I locked my books away in as a child and would get right inside with a flashlight to see all the titles; I don't recall a time when I wasn't reading something; I studied books in university; I edit books for heaven's sake! I should be able to come up with something concrete about the books I like to read.
But it thwarts me, this narrowing down of genre. I'm sitting on the literary fence and I don't want to leave any books out.
I discussed this dilemma with a friend of mine over strawberry dacquiri's last night. She used to work in marketing at chapters (dream job, anyone?) and part of her role was to co-ordinate book clubs. There was the mystery book club, the romance book club, the sci-fi book club...every kind of book club was available, but I can't see myself ever limiting myself to one kind of book. At the two ends of the scale were the following: the serious book club where serious literary adults discussed serious literary works, and the Martini book club, where the focus was only marginally on books at all.
What I suppose I'd like, ideally, is to fall somewhere in the middle. A book club that is sociable and fun, relaxing yet insightful. And I think, for the most part, we've achieved that at my current book club. We don't read much "serious" literature, but we do like our books to have some meat to them. You can mock Oprah all you want (and I frequently do) but her book club titles are usually quite well chosen in terms of a rewarding but not too analytical read.
Because in the end, reading should be fun. And a book club--for me at least--should not be work.
Are you in a book club? What kinds of books do you like to read? And how do you format your meetings - structured or free-for-all? Chime in below.