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#MicroblogMondays 130: A Different Kind of Book Club

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I love the idea of a book club, but I hate the actuality of a book club because every one I have ever been in goes the same way.  I read a book that I don’t really enjoy because it’s the selection, foregoing something I really do want to read, and then arrive at the meeting and discover that over half the group hasn’t read it at all, and no one really moves to discuss it.

But I thought this book club for two is a brilliant idea.  Rather than reading the book ahead of time, they read it over the phone to one another.  They can discuss it in real time or just relax and listen to the story.

I do this with the twins — we’re currently reading Sleeping Giants together, though the ChickieNob and I are also reading Twilight without the Wolvog — but I never thought to do it with someone my age.  I guess you would have to find someone who shares the same reading taste so you don’t run into the problem above — spending time with books that annoy you at the expense of spending time with a story you want to read.

What do you think about reading a book aloud with another person as a book club for two?

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1. The Fear Of Failure | Naba 12. Raven 23. Shail
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4. Vaibhav Gupta | Thorough and Unkempt 15. Lori Lavender Luz 26. Amber
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8. Middle Girl 19. Charlotte 30. Empty Arms, Broken Heart
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11. Ravneet Kaur 22. Pom

33 comments

1 Nabanita { 02.20.17 at 6:29 am }

Oh I don’t know if I can do that. While reading I like to withdraw from every one and every thing. I don’t think reading for me will be that much fun if I have to read to someone. But that’s just me ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Mali { 02.20.17 at 6:43 am }

Ugh, no, not for me. I do support however a book club where you choose the rules. My book club lasted about 15 years and worked differently. We had a pool of books. We would take turns hosting, and the host would buy two or three books, and put them in the pool. Each of us would select some books to take home and read that month. We’d review them briefly, and only when everyone had read them would we have a more detailed discussion. There were always new books to choose from, we got exposed to some wonderful books that others c choose for us, and we never felt pressured to read books we didn’t enjoy. Our end of year meeting was an awards show – best leading man/woman, favorite author, best aeroplane book, best cover (before we got kindles/tablets etc right up to the book of the year.

So design your own book club. I’d love to know what you come up with!

3 Vaibhav Gupta { 02.20.17 at 6:48 am }

It’s an interesting idea, but I’d only do it so I would remain motivated to read. For me, it’s more about accountability than the relationships forged via common interest.

4 Traci York { 02.20.17 at 7:06 am }

Interesting concept, but not sure of the execution. I’ve done this a couple of times over the years with hubby, but I’m not sure how it would play out (for me, anyway) with someone else.

5 Heather { 02.20.17 at 7:23 am }

I belong to a book club where nearly everyone reads the book AND we spend an hour or so discussing it. A rarity for sure! I think I couldn’t like this type of book club though. If I’m actually reading, I like to do so late at night and usually fall asleep reading so logistically reading it out loud to someone else would be tough. But also, I really enjoy listening to audio books because I can knit or do some other mundane task like folding laundry while listening which makes me feel more productive. Lol!

6 Middle Girl { 02.20.17 at 7:50 am }

Intriguing idea. Not sure it is something that could or would work for me. I like book clubs but mostly those I’ve been involved in have not been very satisfying.

7 Esha { 02.20.17 at 8:04 am }

Personally, it doesn’t look like it will work for me because I like to enjoy my book alone even though I’d like to discuss it with the others who’ve read it, at a later stage. So, although it sounds like an interesting idea, it does not seem like I could be a part of it. I’d love to hear from you to see how you take it forward, though, because there’s always some new learning going on when we share our experiences with others.

8 Parul Thakur { 02.20.17 at 8:20 am }

Interesting idea and I can give it a try to see how I feel. Thanks for sharing, Mel ๐Ÿ™‚

9 Lori Shandle-Fox { 02.20.17 at 8:24 am }

Sounds like an interesting idea. I think, like a lot have already said: Reading is such a personal, relaxing “me” time where you get to disappear into another world. This would be an addition not instead of my own reading time I think.

10 Raven { 02.20.17 at 8:54 am }

I love book clubs, but I don’t love reading out loud so this would not work for me. I do love the idea of creating a book club that suits you – I like what Mali was doing! Because there is nothing worse than wasting time reading something you’re not enjoying…reading is too delicious for anything but the best.

11 Jess { 02.20.17 at 9:10 am }

What an interesting idea! Bryce and I tried to do something like this, although not reading aloud, with a couple books (In Cold Blood was one, and I was a loser and stopped reading it because it creeped me out), but we haven’t been successful yet. We are reading a book together one essay at a time, with me reading it out loud, In Their Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories. I used to read challenging ancient texts out loud with a friend taking the same class in college, and it helped with comprehension…but I’m not sure I would get together with a friend and read out loud to each other from the same book. I’ve read the same book at the same time and then gotten together to discuss, but I don’t think that’s quite the same. I can see doing it with older kids though! I feel like the act of reading something for pleasure is so personal, and you experience it differently from others, so I’d rather read on my own and discuss after than read together, out loud.

12 Corinne Rodrigues { 02.20.17 at 10:19 am }

I’ve always wanted to be a part of a book club, but haven’t enjoyed the online ones. What a lovely story about the book club for two!

13 Kaeleigh { 02.20.17 at 10:33 am }

My sister and I recently started doing a book club just us two. Read a chapter a week and discuss. I’m pretty stoked about it!

14 Working mom of 2 { 02.20.17 at 10:43 am }

Ha, that is how my one book club experience went (I would fret to finish, others hadn’t read the book at all). One time the chosen book was some 1000 pg medieval thing that is NOT my type at all and I was like the ONLY one to read it. But I still liked it b/c it was my one chance to get out to a restaurant every month or so when my kids were babies. Sadly moms (it was a group that met at parent baby class) moved away etc and it eventually died. I did however, refuse to read 50 shades of gray when that was chosen. Not my cup of tea, and also I would check out the book club books from the library and that one was on hold for like a year. I wasn’t going to spend money or time on it.

Anyway, I don’t think reading aloud to an adult would be my thing. I can’t imagine feeling comfortable doing that plus time/logistics etc. like others, I mostly read at bedtime.

15 Menaka Bharathi { 02.20.17 at 11:11 am }

Book clubs have always been my fascination and I used to be a member of some during school days. Your story is lovely!

16 Charlotte { 02.20.17 at 11:24 am }

So maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t really enjoy discussing books I have read with other people. To me it feels sort of like politics, where I don’t want to discuss in detail things I have read or why I like them, for fear the other person will ruin it for me. I will however tell you books I love or read that I thought were awesome. But I’m also not likely to take suggestions from people about books either.

17 mijk { 02.20.17 at 11:44 am }

i love my bookclub we are however a strange bookclub we read most theologic books and we do chapter by chapter. So a book can take a year. In between we do Psalms or poetry. It is the most socially safe group I know and it helps me grow so much!

18 Chris { 02.20.17 at 1:39 pm }

I wouldn’t like that for me because I read SO fast that reading aloud just kills me. When I was in school it was torture because I was already reading before I started school so when people would read aloud and be struggling to sound out words I’d already be pages ahead…. I can’t even pay attention to an audio book. I keep thinking “I could just read this FASTER!” And, since reading to me is a real treat, and one I don’t have time for I’m not going to waste that precious time doing it slowly! LOL. This only got worse after being exposed to a speed reading unit in jr high? high school? I don’t remember but my already speedy tendencies went crazy and while I’m out of practice I still read far faster than I can out loud.

19 Lindz { 02.20.17 at 2:11 pm }

I don’t do well at comprehension with spoken words. I wish I could get my husband to understand this, because he’s always reading me “interesting” things when he could just send me a link. I also read ridiculously fast (which is another reason I get frustrated at the “let me read this to you” thing).

That being said, I’d be another person in your book club who had actually read the book. There’s a local book club I’d love to break in to, but years of hints haven’t resulted in an invite so I’ve given up.

20 JustHeather { 02.20.17 at 2:43 pm }

Like Heather, I quite often read late at night and to relax as I fall asleep. And I do like audio books when I’ve got mind-less things to do. (Such as exercising or photocopying, but not when I food shop.)
I do belong to an online book club of sorts, but I’ve only read one book fully (very late), another I started a year ago and a 3rd I have the book, but haven’t read it yet. Most of them are just books I don’t find interesting. But as it is an online group, anyone can participate if they want, or skip it.
I think it might be fun having a read-aloud book club, but I can’t imagine finding time to read with anyone. ๐Ÿ™ Nor that most of my friends would like books I like and vice versa.

21 Karen { 02.20.17 at 3:09 pm }

I LOVE this idea. I hate book clubs too for the very same reason you do. I love reading aloud, because it makes me slow down and take notice of details. And I love the idea of doing it with someone my age! I still dig reading to my kid, but Owen doesn’t love to talk about it, and he gets to pick the book, so we’re currently into House of Robots or The Day My Butt Tried to Take Over the World or something I wouldn’t normally be interested in reading. Plus then you have a regular conversation on the phone with someone who is important to you. I love it!

22 Shilpa { 02.20.17 at 4:06 pm }

I was never a part of a book club .. look likes this is a nice idea .

23 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.20.17 at 4:31 pm }

What Chris said. Reading aloud is torturously slow for my brain. I think such a book club would not be a fit for me.

I get why you wouldn’t wanna be the only one in the room that read the book — that wasn’t one you wanted to spend time on anyway. Ugh.

24 Journeywoman { 02.20.17 at 4:45 pm }

I can’t imagine doing this with an adult. Though I like the idea of doing this with Lotus as we get older.

25 Amber { 02.20.17 at 5:32 pm }

Okay, I’m having problems today. I’ve already tried leaving two other comments, but my computer won’t actually post them for some reason, so now trying on my phone. Also, I managed to submit two Microblog Monday posts by accident. It’s not my day. The first one, #26, is actually from last week and should be deleted. I don’t know how to do that.

As for your question, I can’t really see myself reading a book aloud with another adult. i do love the idea of reading books with my children when they get older, though, like you do. Of course I do read to them now, but it’s not quite the same thing since they can’t yet read themselves!

26 Jenn P { 02.20.17 at 7:37 pm }

When I had two wrist surgeries and 10 months of OT, I read outloud to my then girlfriend while she washed dishes and cooked dinner. I also did this medieval stretching device that was excruciating, so reading distracted and entertained us both. I remember reading the first two Harry potter, bird by bird, and a Terry Pratchett book to her. I like the idea of a book club for two!

27 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 02.20.17 at 8:23 pm }

I like it in theory…except I don’t actually enjoy reading aloud. A friend is in something called a “no guilt” book club, where you can read that month’s non-fiction book โ€“ or not. Everyone is invited to participate in discussing the topic(s) whether or not you finished the book.

28 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 02.20.17 at 8:25 pm }

@Jenn P: That sounds like a great trade off!

29 Turia { 02.20.17 at 8:38 pm }

I love the idea of book clubs but I’ve never belonged to one and I suspect I would find it unsatisfying for the reasons you outlined. I think right now I just like the idea of having an excuse to meet up with friends and get out of the house without children.

I would hate that book club for two though. I hate reading out loud- I am much much faster in my head, and I’m a visual learner so listening to someone else read would make it very difficult for me to follow the story. Plus I read at odd times and in odd places.

30 Modern Gypsy { 02.21.17 at 2:20 am }

Much as I love reading, I find that book clubs really aren’t for me. The idea of a book club for two is intriguing, but I fear I’d find reading a book aloud to someone over the phone a tad annoying!

31 Beth { 02.21.17 at 6:59 am }

I had a similar book club experience and eventually quit. I often read books I didn’t love at the expense of something I was more excited about. Either no one else read it or the discussion fizzled quickly and turned to neighborhood gossip, or gossip in general. I was increasingly frustrated and finally just quit. I wouldn’t mind just talking with one other person but not the reading aloud part. I’d rather read to myself and I only like to listen to others read when I’m driving.

Funnily, typing this now, I realize this connects back to your last post about being liked – I was done with this group months before I actually left for fear of them disliking me. Even now when I see ladies I used to be in the group with, I imply I’m too busy to come back when asked, rather than just admit it wasn’t for me.

32 Obsessivemom { 02.21.17 at 10:40 am }

Put like that the twins and I have a book club of three and it’s great fun. I think it’s fun because we choose the book together and then read it aloud.

33 loribeth { 02.22.17 at 3:24 pm }

I remember a friend & I laying on her bed and alternating reading chapters of “Gone With the Wind” aloud to each other when I was about 13. (We never read the whole thing together, though — after all, it’s a pretty long book, lol.) And when I was in elementary school, the teachers would always read us a chapter of a book aloud when we all got back from lunch hour, before moving on to the lesson plan. That said, I’m not sure this would work as an adult (unless, as in your case with the twins, you’re reading aloud with another family member). I enjoy picking up a book & reading it on my time… to have to schedule reading sessions with another person would take some of the fun out of things. (And I’m sure I would be tempted to read ahead on my own, lol.) I know a lot of people who are into audio books, but it’s not something I have tried… I find it hard to find time for podcasts as it is. I can’t be doing anything that requires too much focus while I’m listening because otherwise I’ll lose focus and suddenly realize the podcast is almost over and I can’t remember a thing they’ve said in the last 20 minutes.

That said, I’ve enjoyed the online book clubs I’ve been part of, and I wouldn’t mind finding a real-life book club, if I can. It’s tough, though, because I don’t know a lot of people hereabouts, and the people I do know don’t tend to be big readers.

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