The Magic of Book Club Reading
The first time I joined a book club was back when I was probably 12 or 13 years old. It was summer, and my mom was looking for activities that would keep us kids out of her hair for the next couple of months. Fortuitously, she saw a notice at our local library about a weekly junior book discussion group. Given that I was the family bookworm who checked out novels by the armful every time we went to the library, she decided that should be my summer activity.
And so, she signed me up.
Talk about heaven! I found my people that first day as we gathered in a circle on hard wooden chairs to talk about The Odyssey. In the classroom, I was a blushing, stuttering introvert. In the library with my fellow young booklovers—all of whom came from schools other than mine—I became a different “me”. There, I could confidently give an opinion, even make jokes that set all the other kids laughing. I blossomed, I bloomed…I could have sat in that circle forever!
But all too soon, school started up again, and the kids’ book club went the way of all summer fun. Sadly, the library never restarted the group in subsequent years, which meant I permanently reverted to my quiet introverted version of me. As an adult, I occasionally considered reclaiming the magic by searching out a new book club, but other commitments (including actually writing books!) always got in the way. My book club adventures seemingly started and ended with that long-ago summer.
That is, until a few months ago, when a member of my local Sisters in Crime chapter wondered if anyone would be interested in Golden Age mystery discussion group.
I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Our third meeting is this month, and I’ve got the book downloaded in preparation for reading. And I am happily recalling how book clubs have the power to unite minds through the love of literature, no matter your age. True, the circle of wooden chairs in a library has been replaced by Zoom, but otherwise it’s just like I’m back with my fellow book-loving kids again. And that’s a great feeling.
Do you belong (or have you belonged) to a book club? What’s the best thing you’ve taken from the experience?
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Posted in Let's Talk, with Diane A.S. Stuckart • Tags: Diane A S Stuckart, libraries, reading, The Magic of Book Club Reading | 25 Comments