At the start of this year I wandered past Donner and saw a poster about the Bored to Death book club. Cool, I thought. Little did I know, that joining a book club brought with it a whole set of experiences I didn´t expect it would. Read on for five pros and cons of joining a book club.
Getting to know other bookish people
Reading books is a kind of solitary exercise. You are mostly on your own, under a blanket with a cup of tea. Guinea pigs or cats like to snuggle up to you while you´re reading, but you are the only one experiencing the magic. Joining a book club means that you get to know other people who love to read books. This might seem great and nothing less than that, but there’s a trap: many of times I thought that I had my opinion of the book all sorted out, until I came to book club. Hearing about the experiences of other readers made me change my mind during the session, and as a result I changed my Goodreads rating of the book more than once.
Reading books you wouldn’t normally read
This was one of the reasons why I decided on joining a book club. I used to read the same stuff over and over again (still, yay for rereading), but I got kind of tired of it. Because of book club, I now know I like more genres than I thought. It seems that I like fantasy more than I thought and that I like characters that learn stuff and change throughout the book.
So, yes, I am reading different books that I wouldn’t normally have read, but there’s a catch: sometimes I read a book, from a ‘new’ genre, and can’t help but thinking that there was a reason why I never read them before.
Having an excellent excuse to buy books
“I have to buy this book because we have to read it for book club”. Excellent excuse. But: my bookcases aren’t getting any bigger in the meantime.
Learning how to form an opinion about books
B.B.C. (before book club, get it, get it?) I used to think about books only as ‘good’ or ‘boring’. It seems that there can be way more things wrong with a book than I thought. I have learned to describe better why I think a book is good or boring and I like that, because it gives me stuff to talk about at parties. But, there’s, of course, a con. While reading a book I keep thinking about how I would describe a book to other book clubbers, and I also think that some books aren’t good enough anymore. You guys all read such interesting, deep and, well, good books, that I am kind of scared to admit that I like trashy books.*
All things considered, we know that there is only one true pro to joining a book club: books. Getting to share your love for books with other people is just… magic.
* I’m not going to give in, I still like Twilight! There, I said it. Please forget that I said that.
Written by Francisca Priem, YA book clubber and fervent keeper of guinea pigs.