Love for book club – and the benefits of reading outside your usual go-to choices
Recently, I had the opportunity to facilitate book club here at Anythink Wright Farms where we discussed Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen. I had never read Anna Quindlen before and I realized this is one of the many positives of belonging to a book club – reading something new and different outside of my usual go-to choices. Even though I work at a library and consider myself well-read, book club made it obvious to me that I have my own preferences and they win out more often than not when selecting my next read. If it wasn’t for book club, I may never have read Anna Quindlen and now I have an educated opinion as to whether or not I’ll actually read her again. (Leave a comment if you really want to know.)
Another positive is that I found I read the book with intent, with greater purpose. Knowing I was going to give opinions and wanting to be able to support them, I paid greater attention to what the author was saying, trying to say, and being left unsaid. I deliberately did not read any of the book club questions until discussion time because I didn’t want any information to plant an idea in my mind that I didn’t come to on my own. In other words, I wanted my opinions to be fully mine. I realized that reading a book for the purpose of discussion actually made me a better reader. When it came time for discussion I was amazed at all of the varying and differing opinions that were shared. It helped me realize that 1) I don’t know everything and 2) each person’s life experiences will greatly impact their views on what they read. This open sharing really aided in helping everyone understand one another and build a sense of community.
And that is what I think I loved the most about book club – the biggest and best positive – community. Even though this was my first time at book club, I thought as though I was among longtime friends. Everyone was friendly, warm, accepting and encouraging. I am eagerly looking forward to next month’s book club meeting and discussion of A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White.
The Wright Farms Readers book club is free and open to everyone. Please join us the third Tuesday of every month at 9:30 am at Anythink Wright Farms, or click here for a list of book club dates and times at other Anythink locations.