Despite my love of reading and the sheer volume of it that I do every week for work, I feel like I don’t often enough do it just for fun. I tend to cram it in in phases, desperately scarfing down book after book, before returning to a world in which TV and games on my phone exist and sometimes steal my attention away. As much a fan of books as I am, I’m also a big nerd for systems and rules, so I decided to find ways to make sure I’m keeping up to a reasonable level of pleasure reading. It’s hard to turn off your inner editor (maybe that National Book Award winner doesn’t really need my marginalia) if you never read enough for fun to find the work mode off switch.
My first step was to form a book club with my friends. DGLM book club is great, but it’s geared toward learning rather than enjoying, and we don’t usually all read the same book. I want to be able to chat about books with my friends, but with varied tastes and busy lives, it’s often the case that even those of us who are well read don’t overlap much. Our first book is Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot, which I’m actually not that sure is going to be my cup of tea. We shall see, I guess! Those who’ve already read it suggest we’re going to have lots to talk about, so at least it should be interesting. I’m pretty adamant that we not pretend to read a book and then gossip about other things instead—we do plenty of that without forming a book club, after all.
So I turn to you for tips: are any of you in a book club? Any pitfalls to avoid? Ways that your book club really made things interesting?