The New Yorker cartoon caption
In theory this sounds like something I should love to do. Maybe I would, but only if the following criteria were met:
1. I get to choose the book. Of course, every member of a book club should have an equal opportunity to choose which book the group will read next, but rarely am I interested in reading books chosen or recommended by someone else. I did enough assigned reading in high school and college to last a lifetime. I own hundreds of unread books, as well as hundreds of other books I'd love to read again. So why would I want to read books selected by someone else?
2. The group actually discusses the book, not everything else. I love the New Yorker cartoon cited above, which I have had posted on my bulletin board for years. Discussions that stray off topic are a pet peeve of mine. I like meetings that have agendas and discussion groups that stay on the subject. That's my biggest problem with the movie discussion group I sometimes lead (when I get to choose the film). When I pose a question, there is always somebody who wants to talk about something else. I have to keep reminding myself that the whole point of the evening, other than watching the film itself, is a good discussion. Whether or not my particular questions are ever addressed is irrelevant, at least to everybody but me.
I expect to have more to say about book discussion groups next time.