Books clubs are awesome. I don’t care how many I already belong to, if someone asks me to join another, I can’t say no. The benefits of a book club are numerous. It can provide a community, intellectual stimulation, friendship, a place to take a break from life, a place for self-expression, etc. But, best of all, it another excuse to read more books, often novels I might not have chosen to read on my own. I’ve just recently joined a newly-formed, book club at work, made up of co-workers, which will be interesting.
My friend and co-worker, Kristine, has been in one book club for years, so I decided to ask her a few questions and get the down-low on her experience.
How did your book club get started and how many months/years has it been in existence?
I, along with my friend Stephanie, met our friend Mindi several years ago at a scrapbooking event. We instantly hit it off and eventually learned that the three of us had something in common besides scrapbooking: reading! Oh, and food! So, we started a book club, informally named Food For Thought, and it’s been around since 2008. Our goal is to read a book chosen by an active member once a month and meet for dinner at a restaurant to discuss the book. Usually we try to choose the restaurant based on the theme of the book (and sometimes we choose the book based on the restaurant), and sometimes we just go to the restaurant and not read at all.
Have you ever had to kick anyone out or wanted to?
We’ve actually never had to kick anyone out! We’re a very casual book club. We don’t take attendance or dues. We don’t even require that you read the book. We have a lot of members who come and go, but there is a pretty solid core of us who attend almost every gathering.
What are y’all currently reading?
Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins
What has been your favorite book?
It’s hard to choose just one. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin was probably my favorite.
Least favorite book?
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
I know you sometimes pick themed restaurants to go with your book theme. What are some of the best pairings you’ve had?
I think one of the most memorable ones was when we read Life of Pi and had dinner at an Indian restaurant. It may have been our first or second meeting. O,h yes, and that one time when we had Korean BBQ after reading what ended up unanimously being our least favorite book, The Orphan Master’s Son. At least we had a good time and enjoyed the food!
What is your favorite part of being in a book club?
Since starting the book club, I’ve made some great friends who have become an important part of my life. Also I’ve discovered books and authors I probably would’ve never found otherwise. In general, I think being in a social club like a book club offers pleasant surprises.
My grandmother is in a book club. Maybe I should interview her next week! Do you have a book club experience to share?