07 February 2009

Books to Discuss or Books to Read

Something else I've noticed about book groups is that there seems to be two types of choosers: people who want to read a good book, and people who want to discuss a good book.

Obviously, you want a book that's good to read and good to discuss, and there are plenty out there that fit both categories. But I can't think of a time that I've recommended or chosen a book for a book group that I haven't read because I want to be sure anything I chose would be a good discussion. The discussion is the focus for me.

But many people choose books they want to read- that's the focus. And I can see why- if you aren't reading a lot more than what your book group chooses, why would you choose something you've already read? Even if you do read a lot, you might not want to reread books very often because there's so much out there you still want to get to. But if you haven't read the book already, how do you know it would be a good fit for your group? Or if you'll even like it? The worst sort of discussions are when the chooser and the leader of the discussion didn't even finish it.

I can't help feeling that the focus on reading might make the discussions overall a little less worthwhile. Or do you think any good book is worth discussing?


  1. I recently joined my first book club. One of the reasons that I sought a club was because I would often read a book and wish that I had someone to discuss it with. But, it never ocurred to me to recommend something that I had already read for the club.

    In addition to the book club that I joined in the real world, I created an online club with some women that I know in the cyberworld. One of the ladies recommended a book that I already read, but I'dl like to discuss it, so I wont reject it because I've already read it.


  2. I think you have a good point. I do like to reread books. I'd recommend a book I've already read that would be great for discussion before I'd recommend a book I want to read that I don't know if it's good for discussion.