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Organized nerdiness

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?

2 Responses to Organized nerdiness

  1. Joelle says:

    I don’t have a book club, and you didn’t exactly ask this, but how I make sure I read plenty for fun is every January, I sign up on Goodreads for their book challenge. You pick the number of books you think you’ll read during the year (125 for me this year), and then after you read them, you just add them to your account (you don’t have to actually rate them) and it keeps track of them, as well as your pace. Like it will say, “You’ve read 43 books so far. You’re 2 books behind.” I’m a nerd (too?), so I don’t like to get behind! If I get too far behind, I read a bunch of short MG! Haha!

  2. Heidi Schulz says:

    I love that you are cracking the whip on it being a book club not a gossip club. I’ve had one fall into that and it was so frustrating!
    I’m in a great book club now. Here are a couple of things that we do:
    1- Take turns hosting/picking the book. It’s fun to go to different members homes and having different people choose the books has exposed me to authors/genres I might not have normally chose on my own.
    2- Even if you are taking turns hosting, have a clear leader. He/she could remain constant or change every year. The host should plan to lead the discussion, but the group leader should get things started and bring the conversation back to the book if it should start to get off track.
    Hope these tips help. Have fun!

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