Dear Abby: Book clubs aren't just for socializing

Posted: June 26, 2012

DEAR ABBY: "Pennsville, N.J., Reader" complained that her book-club members don't always read their current book and want to socialize instead. I can add nothing to your thoughtful answer. Still, her letter troubles me.

Literacy is under siege in America. Years ago, I heard Margaret Mead speak. She warned us against turning into a "machine-worshipping society," and that is precisely what we have become. It's killing off a part of our brains. Reading serious books helps to reclaim our brains.

Each member of my group has a voice in selecting the book. Most of us do read the monthly selection, and the moderator keeps us on track with our discussions. If someone comes to the meeting and hasn't read the selection, she simply listens and takes notes while the others discuss the designated chapters.

I feel strongly that if anyone wants to socialize instead, he/she should host their own meetings at home and make it clear that the gathering is a social chat.

— Book Club Member in New York

DEAR BOOK CLUB MEMBER: Readers agree that the reading and socializing should be kept separate and were quick to offer solutions to the problem of mixing the two. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Here's how our club handled the problem of members not reading the books: We started charging $5 for failure to do it. The money is held by our treasurer, and every year it is used to pay for meals during our summer outing. It's a simple system that has cut down on people not doing the assigned reading.

— Book-Clubber, Too

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|