Saturday, February 16, 2008 5:11 PM
Hi to all!
I've set this email so that replies come to me and not the group by default, but if you'd like to send out a general reply, feel free!
Is it great to be in a group of intelligent adults who meet from time to time to discuss non-trivial books, but in this time-pressed world, not so great to commit to a book that doesn't appeal to you, and keep reading in as your enthusiasm wanes? I'm thinking that's at the root of uneven meeting attendance, even as the group grows. I know that earlier generations' book clubs (the kind where ladies wore gloves and hats, and turned the air blue with cigarette smoke, and gentlemen weren't members!) sometimes had the premise that one member read the book of the month, and gave a highly prepared report to the assembled crowd. This is VERY retro, but maybe we could come up with a modern twist that incorporates elements of this model along with the more recent everybody-read-the-same-book, which has its flaws.
Susan has suggested two monthly selections, with the option of reading either one, so that those who had read one would learn about the other at meetings. I think that idea has a lot of merit. Another possibility is to draw up a list of ten or so books. Read any book from the list, come in and give a brief informal presentation. If more than one person has read a given book, we could have a different take. Then, on to the next book that's been read. If everybody has read at least one book, the conversation shouldn't lag because there will be questions and interchange.
Reactions, counter-suggestions, refinements? Let me know.