My first book club had (and still has) only one member: me. I choose the books, read them, talk to myself about them and move on to the next book. There is no formal meeting venue, my head is just fine.
I don’t like to talk about books with large groups of people, one on one conversations serve my purposes just fine; I read book reviews not for the opinion but for the writing.
I am also the worst candidate for a book club.
Going for a meeting of Mainland Book Café was a favour to a friend whom I’d been putting off for a long time. No, this story is not going to end with me seeing the light and realising that book clubs are the next best thing after dodo. So you can put away your tissues.
I hadn’t read The Colour Purple which was the book of the month so my plan was to sit in a corner and listen. I had however seen the movie, a remake of the 1985 original which as I came to find out did very little justice to the book itself. But I digress.
The first thing that struck me about this group of readers was the warmth and camaraderie. Before the meeting began, my ‘corner’ was constantly invaded by people coming to say hello and introduce themselves and welcome me. Someone was kind enough to give me their tab that had the book in it so I could at least get a feel for the story. My opinion was sought more than once on the discussions around the book.
Another thing was the simplicity. There was no unnecessary deepness or showing off. Everyone that spoke did so to share their experience of the book. As these things are wont to do, the discussion veered into personal life experiences but not too far, the moderator was good enough to keep it all on track.
The meeting didn’t exactly end, once the book talk was done, other discussions took over and that was it; no sprinkling of holy water or grace.
Bar Enclave where the meeting held is famed for its roasted turkey and since I was attending for the first time, I got to feast at other people’s expense; nothing like free food to make one reflect on the advantages of belonging to a book club.
All I have to do is figure out a foolproof way of being a first timer for the next