I struck up a rather enlightening poolside conversation this weekend while soaking up enough sun to glow in the dark. I’m not sure yet as to whether or not radioactive poisoning can be treated with gin and tonics, but at least I got me some knowledge on book clubs to tide me over until Dante comes calling on the rent.
She was a Book Club member who happened to notice my read- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Her face lit up in a Cheshire cat grin as she held up a happy little coincidence . . . “Me too!”. Admittedly, I was showing happier on the outside than I was feeling on the inside. I’d gotten into a book groove and the pages were melting faster than my uncovered body parts. I wanted to keep the ball rolling, and this chat was going to cost me precious pages. Yeah, I know . . . I’m about as socially adept as a three legged scorpion.
So we chatted up what is a really good story. Everything about her take on the book was professional sounding. She was concise in the spots that mattered, expansive in the spots that mattered more. Her critique had polish, her random thoughts had guts. Outside of baseball, I don’t think there is anything I enjoy more than a good book conversation. And she was it.
When we finally arrived at a conversational fork in the road, I was sated. Books can be such a solitary involvement, and I was the better for this verbal thread. Not to mention the solidarity that was coursing through me on account of meeting up with someone who shares my quaint passion for books made of paper. And so that’s where I placed my aspergerian methodology on the shelf and asked for more. And that’s where I learned about her Book Club and all the rules that came with it.
Book Clubs have rules, separate and independent of each other. Like the American and National Leagues, or anyone who marries Hugh Hefner. Book Clubs also have moderators. A good Book Club moderator chooses a 3 star book in order to ferment debate. A great Book Club moderator chooses a restaurant which serves the best margarita.
Here then is a list of rules for Book Club. It’s amalgamated and unlicensed. But then again, aren’t we all?
1- The first rule of Book Club is you MUST talk about Book Club.
2- The second rule of Book Club is you must invite others to Book Club.
3- If someone says “Stop, this is an Oprah selection!” The discussion is over.
4- READ the book. Otherwise don’t bother showing up. Unless you bring liquor.
5- One discussion at a time. Unless you bring liquor.
6-– Respect personal space. Especially if you bring liquor.
7- Book Club continues until it’s time to pick up the kids from soccer practice. Unless liquor is involved, in which case hubby picks up the kids.
8- Stay on topic. (I could put another liquor joke in here, but that would be overkill.)
9- Differences of opinion are encouraged. Unless you’re talking hair color, in which case you best be packing a Tyler Durden punch. (What? Like you didn’t see a Fight Club reference coming?)
10- Innappropriate language will not be tolerated unless it pertains to Tiger Woods.