Reluctant Book Grouper


Much to my surprise, I am a member of a book group. I have always had enough titles on my "to do" list to last a lifetime. Furthermore, my choice in reading material is very personal and I don't much like to conform.  I have found that I can have those opinions and still be in a book group. Even after overcoming those issues, I had other concerns.

I was afraid that the responsibility to read a particular title would mean that I would neglect my own reading. In fact, I just read more.

I feared that the group's choices would not appeal to me. Sometimes the books don't appeal to me, but I can almost always finish them. If I can't, I don't attend the meeting, or I talk about why it didn't appeal to me. I'm rarely alone in that.

I was concerned that I wouldn't have anything intelligent to say and that the other members would be geniuses. The first few meetings, I was quiet; but as time has passed, I find that I do have things to say. My fellow book groupers are very bright, but they don't always notice what I notice. Besides, everyone is there to share, not to work on a Ph.D. in literature!

Joining a book group was good for me, and I'm glad I did it. SLCL has a lot of groups (view the full list here), if you're curious. Or, if you want to start one of your own, SLCL has book discussion kits that have multiple copies of some of the most preferred titles. That makes it easier for all your book group members to have a copy of the chosen book.

--Julie C., Headquarters

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