Thursday, December 18, 2008

Um...what's wrong with wanting to read The DaVinci Code?

I recently read an article in New York Times about Book Club troubles. I guess I had no idea what a serious business book clubs were. Click the link to read the article for yourself as I make a bit of commentary on this article.

First of all, if looking at Jocelyn Bowie standing there all high and mighty doesn't make you want to punch her in her mouth, maybe this quote will:

The last straw came when the group picked “The Da Vinci Code” and someone suggested the discussion would be enriched by delving into the author’s source material. “It was bad enough that they wanted to read ‘Da Vinci Code’ in the first place,” Ms. Bowie said, “but then they wanted to talk about it.” She quit shortly after, making up a polite excuse: “I told the organizer, ‘You’re reading fiction, and I’m reading history right now.’ ”
Oh. My. GAWD. A book club wanting to read a book and talk about it? What kind of madness is this? Hey. Ms. Bowie. Get off your high horse and quit acting like you're too cool for school. Maybe your group didn't want to look past Oprah's picks because you were condescending about suggesting new titles? Perhaps? And who's to say that these books that you look down your nose at won't be deemed "literary classics" someday? do I get Esther Bushell's job?

"...Esther Bushell, a professional book-group facilitator who leads a dozen suburban New York groups and charges $250 to $300 a member annually for her services."
I want that job. But I think I would be better at it because I wouldn't have any "moral obligations" (WTF???) and would gladly take money to lead discussions about The Devil Wears Prada. Because even though it's labeled a "chick-lit" book (meaning some think that it's below them to even peek past the super sweet cover), there are things to take away from it and discuss (like rivalries between women and how we tend to sabatoge ourselves by doing this or how the movie wasn't as annoying as the book...just to name a few).

Maybe I am over-simplifying this, but it shouldn't be this hard - or petty - to have a book club. Seriously, who the hell would want to join a book club whose guidelines includes "no therapy talk, no chit-chat and no skipping meetings."? Me thinks that some people take things and themselves waaay too seriously.


Caz said...

eeek I agree! I've been wanting tojoin a book club here in Melbourne recently but if they're hardcore like this then I'm so not impressed! I want to meet other girls my age and chat and gossip and drink wine and maybe throw a few book discussions in there too!

AbbotOfUnreason said...

She said she joined the group to network with influential women in the workplace and then was ticked because of the book selections? Maybe she needs to be more honest about her motivations.

I've been in several book groups and they've all been different, but the experiences have been in the same spectrum as any other social group organized around an activity: there are politics in bowling teams and personality conflicts in aid societies.

I think we've forgotten how to join things (see Bowling Alone).

Airam said...

Agreed!! My book club is so laisez faire it's unreal. We went from meeting once a month to meeting once every three months and now have pushed it to once every two months because there are a lot of new mommies and we want to accommodate everyone. I just enjoy going out for the social aspect of it. I couldn't join a book club that had that many restrictions

Lauren said...

Wow, that's crazy! I thought part of being in a book club IS talking about the book!