By Joane Tailele
After every book club meeting I come home exhilarated by the conversation and the camaraderie. The beauty of most conversations is that we don’t all agree. We rate the books twice, from a 1-5, with 5 being the highest ranking. The first rating is held confidential as we each write it down at the beginning of our discussion. The second rating is written down later at the end of the discussion. Many times the ratings will range from one end of the spectrum to the other. But we learn a lot from the conversations, many times revealing an insight we had not discovered on our own. It is not uncommon to change our vote from our original number after we had the ability to share our ideas.
Women especially, but not exclusively, are social animals. We form friendships because we can speak candidly about subjects drawn from our reading and related to our personal lives. Everyone’s opinion is respected, regardless of whether you agree or not. Sometimes things are said in confidence that have never been voiced to a single soul. In this, we become kindred spirits.
When I first moved to the island, I did not find it easy to make friends. Although there are multitudes of organizations available on the island, many did not fit for someone that still held down a job. Others seemed rather exclusive. So I ran an ad in the paper to start a book club. I now belong to two different clubs and have wonderful friendships because of them.
Starting a club is easy. All you need to do is love books. Different clubs have different guidelines. I suggest that when you start your first meeting, decide on those guides. Are you going to do strictly fiction? Are you going to put a limit on the number of members? When and how often will you meet? Will there be a coordinator to keep everyone informed? We have a different hostess every month and that hostess pulls discussion questions from the plethora of online sources. Do we always stay on track with the questions? Goodness no – but it gives us a guideline to follow.
Have fun. Meet new friends. And by all means, just read.
“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” – Author Unknown.