Book club dynamics can be challenging. Agreeing on reading a book when people’s tastes vary is sometimes difficult. This is the reason some book clubs group up and read trough certain genres. I am very lucky with my RL book club since we all take turns in presenting a book and leading the discussion. I actually enjoy the variety of books I would never pick up on my own.
Being in a book club has it’s perks and downsides. Having a great discussion on a book you read and hearing other people point out things you missed out or haven’t even thought to think on makes book clubs great. It teaches you about values in differences of opinion and makes people more emphatic – even when they have to agree to disagree. Some books will make people either love or hate them and the best ones often do. Taking into consideration view of someone else who read the same book as you did but managed to understand it in a completely different way is a great way of learning about differences between people as humanities most valuable resource.
The downsides in my particular case are a few. I am not talking about tastes in books but about something a bit more real for my group. These involve language barriers, unavailable copies and brick like editions with vast number of pages.
We tend to rely on our local library for the books and sometimes there aren’t enough books for us all. Even in a group of ten people the minimum amount of available books should be at least five. That is not always the case. Some books are in short supply to be available for the whole group in a one month time.
There are some really great books I would like to read with book club buddies but since we are in a small language group, books that are not translated to our native language simply don’t fit to our needs. These make me sad the most. In some cases there used to be a translation but the editions are old and hard to come by.
Last group of books that can be problematic for a book club discussion are those that have higher than average number of pages. For a normal adult person with a job and family it can be difficult to find the time to read a 500+ pages book in time for the discussion. Sometimes books like that have to be agreed upon several months in advance.