I’ve been part of various book clubs over the years, either as a participant or as the visiting author. Having a group of women in one place, discussing characters, the plot, what worked . . . what didn’t . . . is just downright fun. Talking about the books we’ve read enhances our enjoyment, because we get the chance to share the experience the book gave us. Usually everyone who attends a book club meeting has something to say — that’s why most of them are there.
This past weekend was the kick-off meeting for a book club my daughter started. She’s an avid reader – or perhaps I should say she’s an AVID reader. Last year I believe she read over 300 books. She’s of course a fast reader, and has the opportunity to read on the bus to and from work, and during lunch. She’s actually the perfect person to be involved in a Reader’s club, since she’ll read so many different genres and is familiar with a wide variety of authors. Starting this group was one of those head-thumper moments – why hadn’t she started one before this?
I attended her club as a member, as neither an author nor “mom.” That was so refreshing, to be there as a reader not a writer, to hear people talking about the joy of reading. It’s why I’m a writer, because I love that feeling, too.
The book we discussed was The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, and it was pretty much unanimous that we all enjoyed the book. We loved the characters, the message, and the way the author delivered her story. Besides enjoying food that reflected the southern setting (no chocolate pie, thank you very much) it was just so fun to share favorite things about the book.
Even though we didn’t follow all that closely the Reader questions provided by the publisher, we found we did visit many of the topics those questions covered in the natural progression of our discussion.
Book clubs are pretty much every author’s dream – to have interested people talking about our plots, our characters, the message behind our stories. What could be better affirmation of our work?
So today’s post is just a little tribute – as someone who’s enjoyed both ends of such things, I was reminded how much I appreciate all of the book clubs out there!