Club membership optional

pic from 
So, last night I attended a book club meeting for the first time in my life.

It is hard to believe that I've reached this (hopefully not too) ripe old age, without having belonged to a book club.I love books, I love reading and usually I don't mind people too much. I'm middle aged and middle class so surely I tick all the right book club boxes?

I'm reading William Gibson's book of essays "Distrust that Particular Flavour" (Recommended by Julie at Moments of Perfect Clarity. She has some great excerpts from the book on her blog).

When I got home I was feeling a bit bewildered. It was a nice night. Two people I really like were there, and the other women were interesting and engaging. The food was delicious. the books were great. But something was niggling, and it took Gibson to give me the answer when he wrote:

"In writing speeches, curiously, one sometimes finds out what one thinks, at that moment, about something."

For me, in having a new experience, I was reminded about something that I have always had a problem with, and perhaps why I have never been invited to a book club before.

I don't fit well with groups of women, and I rebel against people who are sticklers for the rules.

It is not that I don't understand the value of rules. In our office I am a major rule maker, and I think that professional boundaries are not a bad thing, as long as there is room for creativity as well. I have been describing it to some of the people who work with us as a tree: the roots all look pretty similar, and they have to be there, but the canopy of each tree is different.

Probably, if I am honest, I don't mind rules as long as I think they are logical. And, of course, I think that all the rules I make are perfectly logical!

So what was the rule that I found most irksome? The one that said that I was not allowed to talk about what I had been reading in case it wasn't a book that was already in the bookclub. I'm still thinking that maybe I misheard it... because try as I might I can't find a reason for it.

But this is my blog, and I am the boss of this space (picture a petulant child, foot stamping optional) so I will tell you that I have just finished The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter and I loved it. The idea of an infinity of parallel earths that can be stepped into (with or without a potato) filled me with longing.

And I'm loving William Gibson too.


julochka said…
rules bug me too. I'm glad you like the William Gibson. I really liked it. I also love his more recent fiction - pattern recognition, and the two others in that trilogy (the names of which escape me at the moment).
saaray said…
I have never belonged to a book club either, probably because I am suspicious that it's not about the books so much. But I do belong to an amateur writers' group (with very few rules) and I love that we can share vastly different books that we come across.

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