Reading can be a lonely past time. While you’re reading you have the characters for company, but once the book has ended and you’ve placed it back on your nightstand, you’re often left with a whole lot of emotions and no one to share them with. Sometimes as I’m reading small gasps or exclamations will escape me, and my husband will want to know what just happened. He often gets a skeletal running commentary of a book, along with a short summary of my feelings on the matter when it’s finished. But sometimes, sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. I want to talk to someone who went through the whole story with me, not just the highlights. Someone who felt as deeply as I did about the whole matter. Certain books demand to be felt and discussed, and having finished them with no one to talk to I can feel a sort of void, as if I haven’t fully experienced the book yet.
This is why book clubs were born. You can meet and talk about all the things a book made you feel and think; all the things you loved or hated (sometimes the things you hated make for very interesting discussion). Occasionally you’ll find that someone else felt the exact same thing, and that makes your heart feel as though you’ve found a friend, and occasionally someone felt something opposite, and suddenly you see the book or scene in a whole new light that you never would have otherwise.
To facilitate this sort of interaction, we’ve collected a bunch of book club kits to make life easier. We’ve ordered multiple copies of these books, and collected a sheet of discussion questions to get the conversation flowing. Anyone with a membership can use these books for book club purposes. You can find our complete list of books available in kits here: http://www.jakeepplibrary.com/assets/bookclubCatalog.pdf
If you find committing to a book club isn’t something you want to do, we have an alternative option starting this October. We’re starting a drop in book club that will run the second Tuesday of the month at seven, and be held here at the library. Every month we’ll post the book that we will be discussing. If you want to read the book (or if you’ve already read it and would like to discuss it) you can come and chat with others about the book. If you don’t want to read that particular book, you can skip it and come next month. Though, sometimes the books we thought we didn’t want to read are the ones that end up surprising us.
How about you—do you feel the need to share your reading experiences? Do you make your friends read it, waiting impatiently for them to finish so you can discuss it? Do you go online and find a book minded community where you can chat with someone about it? Or do you have a book club of your own for precisely this reason?