This morning, I went to the monthly meeting of our CCRC book club. We had about 12 attending – a relatively light crowd. Some residents do not attend when they did not like the book. I didn’t like the book (A shocker- I’ve learned that I don’t have to finish a book if I don’t want to), but I like to hear why others like or dislike it. Most people say nothing. Some of the members are very predictable. One woman always complains about the “romance.” Another usually finds a connection to an event or scientific issue. Others make comparisons to other books. Sometimes we have to remind each other that “it’s fiction” when we point out anachronisms. I tend to prefer non-fiction. Therefore, I am one of those people who have to be reminded. On the other hand, even in fiction I look for consistency within the fictional world.
As an example: There is a TV program called “Timeless.” It is about two groups of time travelers (theoretically one ‘good’ and the other ‘bad’) who go back to historical events and fix things or to stop the other group from changing history. It is amusing, but one aspect drives me crazy. In almost every episode, the ‘goodies’ are told to “Hurry up, You have to leave now. You have to go back and stop…” Good gracious, they have a time machine, they can go back to whatever point in time they want. There is never any reason to hurry.
Sorry, that was TV. Back to the books, or at least to the book people.
We’ve had an excellent chairperson for the past year. For four years I was the chair of the book Club. Then along came an angel of mercy who agreed to take the job. I did not lie to her. I gave her all the details. Most aspects of this job are fine. Arrange the schedule, keep records, put notices in our newsletter, and get/return books from/to our county library.
The frustrating parts are 1) tracking down lost books and 2) getting people to volunteer to lead a discussion. In a normal book club in the outside world, each member takes a turn reviewing a book. Here, in our world, very few of the members are willing or able to be reviewers. Everybody wants to come and listen, but few contribute. It was enough to make me want to tear my hair out and my hair is already getting rather thin. At the end of today’s meeting, the chair begged for someone to take the job. There were no takers. I happily do a review about 2-3 times a year, but will not take back the chair.