Spoiler Alert: Civilized discourse.
If we are lucky, and we are lucky, our book club is populated by many people all of whom already like one another. We have life in common, and we certainly have a love of reading in common. All to the good.
Because some evenings what we don’t have in common is our opinions about this month’s pick. As you probably know, a book club meeting is more fun when we all DON’T agree on the merits of a particular book. We argue for and against. We (okay, probably just me) wax fully on either the brilliance of the author or the clearly derivative approach he or she used to create such a sorry excuse for a novel in the first place.
We disagree. Because we disagree on the book. we do ask the member who recommended the book to speak about her reasons for suggesting it, but we don’t pursue it much farther than that. It’s not her fault we didn’t like the book and if we loved it, we congratulate her.
We love each other and respect one another’s opinions and intelligence and the discussions are never personal, they don’t need to be, that isn’t the point of the meeting. The point is, of course, to drink wine. Wait. Discuss the book – I knew there was a point.
Next time you are in your book club, relish that you can love a book and your best friend right next to you drinking a Russian River Pinot Noir, can hate the book. And now you have a conversation. We don’t change each other’s minds, but we can see and understand our friend’s perspective and if articulated well, give me something different to consider. Maybe the book I initially hated has more merit than I first thought Maybe I have something to suggest to my friend about structure or character that she can consider and even agree with.
We come to the middle. we allow for disagreements.
We don’t shout, we don’t take sides and no book will ever split us apart.
I’m working on how to scale this to create a worldwide movement: book clubs for peace.
Maybe I should just write a book.
Do you have queens in your book club? We all are queens – find out what your own queen archetype is with our Queen Quiz –