Membership Has Its Privileges

  • March 31, 2014

What's so great about book clubs, anyway?

Membership Has Its Privileges

If it seems like everyone you know is part of a book club these days, it’s probably because, well, everyone you know is part of a book club these days. Or so it appears.

According to a recent New York Times piece by James Atlas, roughly five million American bookworms belong to some kind of club, be it a virtual one like the DC Ladies Book Club, or an old-fashioned, meet-in-a-living-room type, a la the Connecticut-based LBC. The appeal is easy to understand.

Although reading is the ultimate solitary pursuit, there’s something exciting about turning it into a shared experience — even (or especially) when the opinions about a particular book aren’t shared.

Wait, you didn’t love The Goldfinch? Is that because you’re truly ignorant or just willfully ignorant? You mean Dan Brown’s bestseller du jour didn’t rock your world? Them’s fightin’ words, sir (or madam). Are you suggesting The Princess Bride won’t be getting a place of honor on your top 10 quirkiest tales list? My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Or at least prepare for a heated, chardonnay-fueled discussion about why you’re so woefully, woefully mistaken.

Which is, of course, the ultimate beauty of book clubs: They let literary types spend a few precious hours each month amid kindred word-nerd spirits, exercising their minds and reveling in reading.

The wine is just a bonus.

Are you part of a book club? Have you fallen away from one but hope to get back? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


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