I decided this year that I would join a book club. I actually joined 2 very different bookclubs this year: one online, and one in person through an independent bookstore (Curious Iguana in Frederick).
I’ve always liked the idea of them: if you’ve ever been near me when I finish reading a book (particularly a book I disliked) you probably heard me talk on and on about what I thought, what I would write about if this book were the subject of a term paper, and what specifically, in detail, I did not like.
Here’s the thing about reading bookclub books: you have to be willing to read books that you didn’t pick out yourself. Writing it out like that sounds like that should be pretty obvious, but when I hit the 6 month mark of the year, I realized that out of the 15 books I had read 9 were bookclub books. I got to choose one of the club books, so let’s say a good half of what I read in the first part of the year, I did not choose myself. This felt like a lot, especially when I am, admittedly, very picky about books. Since the summer, though, I’ve gotten to read a lot more and have balanced out my books with more of my own picks: I’ve read 34 books so far in 2016, 12 have been book club books.
There are a lot of reasons people join books clubs, I mostly wanted to meet people and talk about books. But there is a hidden joy in joining book clubs I have found that I didn’t even know existed until I was in the thick of it: I really REALLY like to talk about books I hate. I LOVE writing one-star books reviews on Goodreads. I love typing FURIOUSLY and citing all the examples of where I thought the story went off the rails. And the best part of being in a book club for this is that there are people to talk about that with. Other people who may share my same feelings of outrage at having dedicated hours to reading something terrible. But it even gets better: if the other people I’m talking about books with don’t share my feelings, they can show me what they got out of the book and I get to look at it from a different angle. Win-win-win.
I pulled out this draft of a blog post as a way of saying that I’m reading along with the Social Justice Book Club this month, hosted by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm. We’re reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward and I’ll be using my blog to join in the discussion there.
I’m also trying a new social media site for book readers called Litsy. It’s new, I don’t know if it will take off, but I could really use some friends over there to follow so I can give it a try. I’m jess_mccoy there.
And you can always friend me on Goodreads so I can read your one star reviews too.