As I mentioned yesterday, I had book club last night for a book that I HATED. I was interested to see how the club would go, since the people in the club all work with books and can sometimes have loftier (*cough*pretentious*cough*) ambitions for their reading materials. It was one of those books that I would classify as "literary," so I knew I would be in the minority of people who didn't enjoy the book.
I went armed for battle, gentle readers, with my weapon store of reasons why I didn't enjoy the book: too many tangents that detracted from the main point, overwriting, no chapters (who DOES that!?! It was sheer madness! Oh, wait. Tangents), a somewhat unlikeable cast of characters, etc. All of these things I happily presented as my reasons for disliking the book. Some people agreed, some people disagreed, some people expounded on my reasoning, others refuted. Good points were made all around (as were dumb ones, you know who you were).
But my take home from the night was this: I enjoyed the book more than I thought I did. Once the discussion started swirling and others in the club made comments that brought new insight, I realized the author had put a great deal more depth into the storyline progression and the main character's motivations than I thought. And while it didn't increase my reading enjoyment (I was done by that time, obviously), it did help me appreciate the work that went into the book and how the author had accomplished what he had accomplished. Without the book club discussion, I wouldn't have achieved the insight and appreciation I have now. And as a writer myself, it's essential to recognize the impact a story has on its reader.
So book club had a positive outcome for me, and added a few more weapons to my writing arsenal. Plus we inevitably fell into talking about The Hunger Games, which made me squee like a fan girl, especially when I read this article this morning.
Is anyone else in a book club? Do you enjoy it? What books are you reading this month?
And as always: a muy happy Friday to the lot of you.