READING AND WRITING AND BOOK CLUBS, OH MY!
About a dozen women usually show up at the monthly book club meeting in my community. These women, who are becoming friends, are totally engaged in story. They are NOT shy about expressing their opinions on what they’ve read.Or on what the author was doing. Or on figuring out the answer to: What could the author have possibly been thinking? I so enjoy these discussions. After writing professionally for fifteen years, I’m finally eavesdropping on enthusiastic readers. What a treat for me! I hope, too, that I contribute something a little bit extra to the discussions.
This month, we read The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls. I’d call it a complex romance, search for love and roots. The group enjoyed the story and discussion was brisk. In our new world of publishing, I’m always curious about how people read their books–electronic vs. paper. So, for fun, I took a user-friendly survey of reading preferences. Of the ten women who showed up this week, four brought their eReaders with them. Two brought library copies of the book. One came with a trade paperback copy she bought on Amazon for $6.00–new, not used. Not sure about the others. But I glommed onto the 40% statistic of eReader users.
Here’s what happened next: We noted the book for next month (Wild Swans) and right there, my friend, Maggie and I downloaded it to our Kindle and Nook. I looked at the others and said, “You just watched me spend $12.38.” To which Maggie replied, “And why not? It’s just like spending on a concert ticket. It’s entertainment, whether a singer or an author. And I enjoy books.”
As an author, I adore her attitude. I adore her. She spoke spontaneously and with conviction as though saying, how could you think otherwise?
I also discovered that the county library has changed its inventory. There were only two paper copies of Wild Swans – next month’s choice – in the entire system. More and more books are to be accessed electronically. Many of the women are not happy. They want to hold a book in their hands. Frankly, there are times I want to do the same, particularly at a book club discussion. However, I love reading on my Nook and wouldn’t give it up.
I glanced down the list of forthcoming books for the club:
July – Wild Swans by Jung Chang
August – The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
September – Family Interrupted by Linda Barrett
October – The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Whoa…whoa….back up there. Did you notice that September selection? That will be a new experience for me. I insisted that someone else is leading the discussion while I hang around quietly, like the proverbial fly on the wall. I’ll keep my mouth shut no matter what they say…unless of course, they turn to me and ask, “Linda, whatever were you thinking?”.
WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW? Let us know if you think it’s a good choice for a club discussion.
Leave a comment and your name will be entered into a great drawing for the month of June. Prizes are your choice of two books out of the six shown below, all written by members of On Fire Fiction. Plus a $25 gift certificate to your favorite eTailer.
As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over!