Friday, December 14, 2007

Join the Club ...

Have you ever thought about joining a book club? Or maybe starting your own?

Book clubs are a great way to meet people – or to find new sides to the people you thought you already knew. They can also open you up to books you’d otherwise never read – or the books you hear people talking about that you never take the time to read.

Sure, you may think that someday you’ll get around to reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime because of the empathy you can gain from hearing a story from the viewpoint of an autistic narrator. Or eventually, you’ll get around to reading Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise because it really must be fascinating to find out why Ruth Reichl actually put on a wig and created a whole new persona just to become a food critic.

But that’s not going to give you the drive to finish the last eight chapters in one night . . . not like if you had to be able to discuss how that new persona started strangling who she really was at the book club meeting the next day.

Tamera, who started the book club at the Northeast Library four years ago says, “I started the book club to talk about books that I loved to read. But the book club has allowed me to go beyond my comfort level and read books I never thought I would pick up. I have discovered many wonderful books this way.”

Book clubs each have a different personality, and you may have to shop around to find one that will be a good fit. If you read nothing but classics, don’t expect a book club full of mystery fans to suddenly change their reading tastes to suit yours – you may have to branch out and read mysteries. But there’s also nothing that says they won’t read the occasional classic, for a change of pace.

You may even decide to form your own club. There are a number of manuals available to help you do this, including:

Read it and Eat by Sarah Gardner

The Book Club Companion by Diana Loevy

The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Shireen Dodson

But before you go out and start your own book club, why not try one of ours? Three of our branches have book clubs, each with a different taste in books.

Northeast Arlington Book Reading Group

Second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.

Northeast Branch

They are currently reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marsha Pessl for the July 10 meeting. Don’t have time to read it by tomorrow? Get started on Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder for the August 14 meeting.

Southeast Arlington Book Reading Group

Third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.

Southeast Branch

They are currently reading No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews for the July 19 meeting.

Woodland West Book Reading Group

First Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.

Woodland West Branch

They are currently reading Crashing Through by Robert Kurson for the August 7 meeting.

Originally posted by Amber, July 9, 5:00 p.m.

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