Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Club revisited (+ a whine)

For those of you who I know are dying of curiosity to find out what happened in my book club:

Our first book was The Gargoyle. I really enjoyed it, but when I got to the meeting, only one other person actually read it. Everyone else got through maybe 50 pages (they found it boring). So you can imagine we didn't have such a great discussion. At one point, someone was analyzing the book based on the picture on the cover, and that was when I realized this was truly pointless. We ended up mostly gossiping, which was also fun.

Anyway, after that debacle, I didn't dare suggest another book.

Someone else suggested The Help, which is pretty much The Book Club Book right now. I read a page of it on Amazon and it looked reasonable. So we decided on The Help as our next book.

I'm the only one who gets the book club books from the library. I mean, books cost like $10-15 each, so why wouldn't I try to get it for free? Plus my house is cluttered enough as it is. The library is only a short drive away and I can reserve and renew books online. I got my copy of The Help faster than the person who ordered it from Amazon.

However (and this is my whine), it pisses me off that when you take out a book, you can only take it out for two weeks.

The Help is about 500 pages. When I got that giant book in my hand and realized I had two weeks to get through it, I didn't feel good about it. And because it's on hold till infinity, I wouldn't be able to renew it. Best I could do was return it late and pay the fee. Is it reasonable that we get only two weeks? How many of you can read such a long book so fast, what with our kids and our jobs and our rock and roll music? Plus I sort of enjoy not racing through a book and taking my time with it. Two weeks isn't long enough to really enjoy such a long book.

It's unfair!

Although as it turned out, I absolutely adored the book, spent all my free time reading it, and finished it in less than a week. But the principle still stands.

Also, my enjoyment of my two book club books also makes me wonder if I was too hasty in dismissing all the NYT Bestseller books as "snooty."


  1. It's actually a very quick read. Hard to believe it when you say it was 500 pages. It's easy reading and went a lot faster than that would have felt like.

  2. It depends. I would never be able to make it through 500 pages, but I do know a number of people who could. Of course, none of these people are dr-moms, but a few are working moms of other varieties. That's probably why a lot of people choose to buy the book.

  3. I loved The Help. It was amazing, luckily I read it prior to med school. It definitely depends on the book.
    One of the reasons I think my mom decided to get kindles for the 2 of us is that even though I have my own apartment at school, my books take over my bedroom at their house- and she probably didn't want to continue adding to the clutter.

  4. A legitimate whine, but even with the time constraint I love the local library with so many CD's, movies and books for free.

  5. We get 3 weeks at our library, which seems more reasonable. You must live in some crazy hyper-literate city.

  6. Definitely depends on the book! Did you ever get to read Water for Elephants? I remember you mentioning that but cant remember if you read it or not....I just started and its really good!

  7. My library gives us 3 weeks which is a little bit better. Hope the discussion goes well next book club meeting!

  8. My library gives 4 weeks, I guess no one uses it where I'm from! But if I really like a book, I get through it pretty fast. I like using the library because, like you, I have too many at home already.

  9. Alice and PA: In the last city I lived, we got three weeks. That's why this two weeks things bothers me so much! I feel like I can't take out more than one book at a time. Because I'll never get through two, and what if I can't renew the second book because it's on hold?

    Writer: Water for Elephants got turned down as a book club choice, but I'm going to try to read it on my own at some point.

    Student CNM: 4 weeks! You're so lucky!

  10. I am jealous you have a book club. I have been meaning to join a group for the past decade have yet to get around to it.

    And I *loved* The Help. I actually listened to it on audiobook - mostly while pushing my nap-averse newborn in the stroller. Hearing how the two groups imitated each other's accents definitely added texture to it. I am not sure if reading it or listening to it woudl take longer.

  11. I'll bet the two week rule is based on the library's principle that it is a library, and libraries need money, and they are counting on people turning the books in late and paying the fine. And really, is a public library such a bad cause to throw a few dollars to?