Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?
I haven’t been in a book club since I was in sixth grade, when we read the books our group leader told us to read. Her name was Mrs. Lloyd and that’s about all I remember of that experience. I obviously don’t think this is the best way unless your group is full of 11 year olds and you are a school-based group, which is almost just a class anyway. I’d like to participate in a real-life book club, but I didn’t think until it was too late at my university and I’m not staying here with my parents long enough to join one here. I expect I’ll join one for real once I get out of graduate school.
I’m not sure how my ideal book club would operate. I think that if it’s a relatively small size, the club could rotate months and each month one person would both pick the book and lead the discussion. Otherwise, if it’s bigger than say 12 people, there would have to be a vote. That is my best guess, anyway. A book club with the book selected by just one of the people each time would probably not attract too many members.
I think if the discussion was valuable and the book was interesting, I might enjoy it more in a book club. I know that some of the books I’ve read for classes have been much more enjoyable thanks to discussion and analysis. I guess I will have to see and report back when I do join one, whenever that is!