My sport club has a book club among the many activities that go on surrounding the main sport played there.  I succumbed to its delights in about September last year.  It’s certainly an interesting way of picking books you would not normally read. Our co-ordinator kindly gets a dozen or so copies of the book from a library – I think it is a service the county provides for bookclubs in the area.  So I have one paperback book I’m reading at any time alongside the ebooks I’m reading, sometimes of my own accord, sometimes to review for a blog tour or similar.  You can see the books I’m reading in the Goodreads widget near the bottom right.

We generally get a month to read the book before the next meeting, since we fix meetings to fit the books and members, rather than a fixed date we work around.  Many of the members are retired, sometimes for some time, so we have a range of preferences and experiences, but it is a good way of getting together to talk of something outside the daily run of things.  We each say what we thought of the book and give it a rating.  These vary widely, reflecting both the taste of the members and the styles of the books.  Our biggest problem is probably what to read next – since there is such a choice – and we are encouraged to recommend things.  So far, recommendations have rather split the group – my recommendation (The Hare with Amber Eyes) wasn’t enjoyed by some of the members who found the names and history too complex.  Others enjoyed it, as I had.  Recently we had a book recommended that someone had enjoyed on holiday.  It was a thriller with a lot of promise but too much torture by fire for my liking, and I put it down after fifty pages when the torture continued.  Three others refused to read it too – the highest rating was only 5/10. We are currently on a very promising book about the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans in the war, told through letters.

There are plenty of online bookclubs too – Goodreads has a number of them, and other Goodreads groups have their book or books of the month.  I would love to join in  these, but with a ‘to read’ list of over 250, adding books that aren’t already on it seems unfair to the authors waiting to be read.  If I’ve won the book or gained it free some other way, I try not to delay too long in reviewing it as a ‘thank you’.

I read an interesting guest post on Duolit a while back on making your book attractive to book clubs.  I never thought of it that way, but given how difficult it is for us to choose our next read, maybe it is worth a little effort by an author to say “read mine”.

If you’ve not got into the bookclub scene, whether as a reader or an author, why not try.  You never know what you might find out!

Are you a bookclub member?  What do you think?  Why not blog from A to Z in April with books that you have read for each letter of the alphabet?


Musings on my Bookclub
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8 thoughts on “Musings on my Bookclub

  • 24 February, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Oh, wow, Jemima–I’m going to do that for April next year! The A-to-Z of my favorite and least favorite books 😀 I’ll credit you for the idea, though 😉

    No book clubs where I live–at least not in English (or Spanish)–but I’ve been thinking about forming one. The difficulty is in getting enough books for everyone to read; again, the One and Only library won’t have many copies, especially not in ENG or SPA. Maybe just start it as a book exchange, build a community of readers.

    I’ve also been thinking about approaching book clubs about the 2014 project I’m working on with an Australian publisher and 30 other writers. It’s a good idea, and the format–a story a day, continuing arcs throughout the year–lends itself particularly well to discussion. But we’ve just talked about it so far, no real action. Now with A-to-Z coming up I’m already short of hours in the day 🙂

    Happy Monday, fellow minion!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    • 24 February, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      I think it’s useful to discuss one book at a time, but sharingbooks around can be a great way of getting together – you’d have to have a ‘what did you think of it’ session when most had read it, and without spoiling it for the others, I suppose.

      Good luck with our idea of building a reading community!

      And oh, gosh, yes – no hours left at all! Minioning is such hard work 🙂

  • 24 February, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Haven’t been in a real book club for years, though I’ve thought about organizing one (a real one, with real people who can meet and drink wine and talk about the books). Also an interesting thought about trying to get one’s book selected for reading by a book club. I’m not sure mine are exactly book club material–seems like they usually want something more serious. Though one of our teachers who read the NL found all sorts of positive and serious themes in it (which I’d never noticed. . . )

    • 24 February, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I’m sure yours are bookclub material. They’d be a breath of fresh air!

  • 24 February, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Wow, a great idea, Jemima. Got to store this one away for next year – will probably be a lot easier than what I am already doing!

    • 24 February, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      I always have ideas well in advance. Then when the time comes I can’t remember what they were!

  • 24 February, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Book clubs are excellent ways to understand readers, and of course, to discuss books we love or maybe don’t love so much. I belong to one (meets at my local library), but haven’t visited in months. I like to stay back and listen to the big Why — why do readers like or don’t like a book — and find it interesting that most times they simply don’t sympathize with the main character.
    Thanks for sharing your idea. Quite intriguing.
    Silvia @

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