After talking about writers’ groups yesterday, today’s Reith Lecture http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00729d9 on radio 4 talked about the civil society and the importance of associations and groups of like-minded folk. Then on Facebook I clicked on this link http://www.hidden-shallows.co.uk/2012/07/09/up-at-the-hospital/ and read about the crazy antics of a readers’ group in Kingston.
The most common comment I hear about belonging to a book group is that it makes people read books they would never have chosen for themselves. Fantastic! It’s far too easy to get stuck in our ways. Like the Kingston group, my lot also spend a fraction of the time discussing the current book, a chunk choosing the next one and the rest solidifying our friendship. We meet roughly every six weeks in a pub and have lunch. It’s a very civilised way to spend an afternoon and a contribution to civil society I’m more than happy to make ;o)
From an author’s point of view, it’s been very helpful to discover that we seldom agree on the books we read. Knowing you can never please everyone, frees us from that obligation.