Updated: Sep 16, 2019
I love reading literature and talking about it.
Reading is wonderful and solitary on its own, but I am someone who learns best by discussion. My solution in my life has always been to either con someone into reading the book, too, or cornering my mother and talking her ear off. I've figured out how to talk about a book even if my listener hasn't read it, but it's less fun when you have to explain the plot and characters first.
Enter bright new idea: book club!
I started Lovers of Literature Book Club at the Great Barrington Mason Library, and I had no idea what to expect going in.
First thing: how to pick a book? I ended up choosing to select classic works that I have not read and would like to. The first was The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (a local author). Now I seem to have a theme of picking those with epochal significance (e.g. Herman Melville's 200th birthday).
Second thing: it takes a little while for people to find out.
After I put up posters and emailed interested people, only my sister and one friend came to the first month of weekly meetings. I then decided to pare down to monthly meetings, like most book clubs.
I had been so used to no one coming that when FIVE people showed up for the second book, Moby-Dick (you can find my thoughts on that here), I was completely unprepared beyond having read the book. It worked out that I wasn't the least prepared, as one woman came with last month's book and two others had just come to listen, but amazingly, two of the five were basically Moby-Dick scholars, and my meeting was saved.
The next meeting is on September 28th, and the book is Chaim Potok's The Chosen, partly in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, partly because it's a classic.
Step by step, I am on my way to becoming an expert book club organizer.