Friday, September 18, 2009


Reading groups are not for everyone. They can be fraught with issues such as members don't read the book, members chat about their lives instead of discussing the book, one or more members seek to dominate the discussion, etc. Some people just like to keep reading as a private activity.

I joined my first reading group in April, 2004, because I was just dying to talk to people about books. I have wonderful friends but oddly enough, none of them read like I do. Then it all snowballed and I now am a member of five groups. That is working for me though I don't always like the books that are chosen. Even that problem isn't bad, since I work in a bookstore and need to be able to suggest books for all types of readers.

As far as the issues go, I won't stay in a group if the members don't read the book or can't stay focused on discussing the book. Those dominating types: well there seems to be one in every group but if there is a competent moderator or an agreed upon mode of discussion, the loud mouth can be kept down to a dull roar.

Finding reading groups is easy. Ask at your favorite bookstores, your local library and amongst your reading friends. They are everywhere, member turnover is usually high and groups often need new members. In my experience, less than 8 attending members is just too small to keep a good discussion going.

As a regular feature here on my blog, I am going to post news about some of the groups I attend. Not all of them are open to new members but the ones I post are. Of course, if you don't live in the Los Angeles area, you won't be attending, but you might be interested in the books we read.

Here are upcoming meetings for the rest of September and into October. For info on locations or to order the book, click on the name of the store or the book's image.

Wednesday, September 23; 8:30 am
Mystery Reading Group with tea and scones
Once Upon A Time Bookstore
Montrose, CA
At Risk, Stella Rimington

Wednesday, September 23; 7:30 pm
Bookie Babes
Barnes & Noble
Burbank, CA
Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck

Monday, October 12; 7:00 pm
The Women's Bookclub
Portrait of a Bookstore
Studio City, CA
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer

Tuesday, October 13; 7:30 pm
Adult Fiction Reading Group
Once Upon A Time Bookstore
Montrose, CA
The Plague of Doves, Louise Erdrich

Thursday, October 15; 7:30 pm
One Book At A Time Reading Group
Usually meets at Mi Casita Restaurant in Sunland, CA
Contact Lisa, the leader for reservations
American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Hi Judy:

    I hope our group isn't one you dislike so much. I think we get a good selection of books and high percentatage of people finishing the book.