Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Book clubbing?

Yesterday, The Visitor pointed me to a feature in the New Straits Times about Fiction and Friends, a book club in the Klang Valley.

Apparently, this group meets up once every month or so to 'discuss' a certain book that was assigned in the previous meeting. What EXACTLY they discuss is not stated in the article (though I would very much like to know), but therein lies my perplexity at the whole idea.

The last time I had to 'discuss' a book was four years back when I was still in university, and my lecturer on 'Novels and Literature' assigned us to read a certain novel and 'discuss' it in an essay. While writing that essay was easy enough (especially when you have a good capacity for writing bull-poo), I found myself not enjoying the novel as much as I would have liked, mainly because I felt I was FORCED to read it.

I wonder if the members of Fiction and Friends feel that way when they are assigned a book. One member is quoted saying that the reason she keeps going back to the meetings is because of the "Satisfaction of reading a book that you don't want to read, or one that we might not have read out of our own choice".

Maybe they wouldn't feel the way I do about being forced to read a book I DON'T want to read (as opposed to those that I WANT to read because I SHOULD be reading it. See previous posts). Or maybe they don't really have as many books to read as some of us do?

Anyway, who am I to judge what other people like to do with their books? After all, I LOVE discussing the intricate elaborations and meaning behind Terry Pratchett's eccentric revelations on Death and Music with Rocks in It, with anyone who even remotely KNOWS what the heck I'm talking about.

Ah well, go read the feature story here: A club for bookworms, and judge it for yourself.

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