There’s been a new addition to my life this year. A step of faith, as it were. That’s right, folks, I joined a book club. Now, to some of you this will not seem like much of a revelation. It’s a widely known fact that I love books. I heart them. I have books spilling out of every corner of my house. I just cannot even put into words how much I love books (I do grasp the irony of that statement…). But here’s the thing:
1. I don’t like reading on a schedule. In fact, I hate it. Whenever there is a ticking clock associated with something that is supposed to be fun, it transforms into a chore that I would do anything to avoid. I know, it’s weird. And I’ve gotten into trouble before for not being able to read something fast enough. I AM a fast reader. But I have a life, too. Balance, people, balance. After all, what would these contestants on The Voice do without my sage advice?
2. I don’t like other people dictating what I read. There are especially a lot of judge-y McJudgerson readers in the publishing industry. Heck, I probably have my judge-y moments, too! You have the literary readers that love flowery prose, those that scoff at any mainstream successful bestseller, and all sorts of folks admonishing you to read for your age group. I don’t like it. I want to be able to read what interests me without being put into a box. Peer pressure with a tinge of book-ishness is blech.
So, in that way, this was a big deal. A big, fat deal. I became a “joiner” and I took the plunge…but I insisted that my friends only let me into book club on a probationary basis. If I couldn’t hack it, I hoped that we could keep our friendships intact and that warning them of these tendencies up front would set realistic expectations.
But what I discovered is – I LIKE BOOK CLUB! The camaraderie of other readers was a safe place and it helped to confirm that my opinions on stories are not always crazy. Plus, this particular book club met at Salsa Brava wherein much salsa was consumed. Win/win. On the real.
I think the key was that the books on their list actually interested me and gave me an accountability to help me attain that always elusive year-end reading goal that I set every January. I should just learn to stop setting it, but I won’t. Because I’m a list-maker and a goal-setter. I’m pretty sure that’s my blood type, actually.
Two book clubs meetings in, one of the founding members moved and our little club disbanded. But with the influx of new friends and co-workers I’m proud to say that I’m starting one up again. Our collective reading compatibility score on Goodreads was promising and I happen to like them a lot, so here’s hoping I can still be a functioning book club member and not bring shame on my family name. I have one and a half more nights to finish our first pick, The Elegance of the Hedgehog (hint: it’s not about hedgehogs), so if you need me between now and then I’ll be reading.