Book Club Mum

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Book Club Books

I am proud to say that I am a member of two book clubs, (even if my husband has christened one of them wine club!) and they are definitely a part of me being more than a mum.

I am an English graduate and an English teacher, but when I had my daughter 2 and a half year ago, I hardly read at all, and it wasn’t because of birth or pregnancy, but reading had become work. I hardly ever read a book for pleasure.  If I was reading, it was usually a book I was going to teach or an Educational theory book and to be honest, I had got to the point where reading bored me.

In pregnancy I found I was too tired to read and when your tiny baby is asleep in your room, it is difficult to leave the light on and read, so all in all I wasn’t reading.

Then the group of Mums I knew from anti-natal classes and I started a book club.  The main intention was to do something which was completely adult and also stimulated us intellectually.  We take it in turns to host.  We read everything and anything, from teen-fiction to literary classics and from parenting guides to historical novels.  It is the host’s duty to chose the book and provide a meal, whilst the rest of us bring wine.  We give ourselves 4-6 weeks between meetings in which to read the books and on the night we chat about the book and drink and gossip! Some months we discuss the book more than others.  Sometimes we have discussion questions; sometimes we seem to need to gossip and drink wine more than we want to discuss the book (hense the hubby’s ‘wine-club’ comment!); but either way is good, because we are being more than mums; we are being adult women in an adult environment.

The second book group I belong to has a slightly more high-brow reading list.  It was also started by a friend of mine who is a stay at home mum.  She wants to read more of the classics.  She also has friends all over the world with whom she wanted to read.  She started a facebook group.  We also read books over a 4-6 week period.  We vote for books we’d like to read which we feel fall into the category of ‘classics’ and we have an open discussion that starts on a particular day on our facebook wall.  This group challenges me to read things that would not normally have been on my reading list, or that have been on my list for some time, but I’ve never quite got round to.

I love both my book groups and wouldn’t be without either of them.  Some months I read both books easily, some months (like this one) things conspire against me and I end up finishing my book on the bus on the way to ‘wine club’ and will be contributing late to the facebook wall of the classics book club, but neither group is judgemental so it doesn’t matter.

I think the most important things about my book groups are that they keep my brain active, they make me sit down and read, and they allow me to discuss grown up things in an all adult environment.

Are you a member of a book club?  If you are, what would you say are the most important things about your book group? If you’re not, what type of book club (if any) would you like to be a part of?

R

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15 thoughts on “Book Club Mum

    Vic70 said:
    October 17, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I love our book (wine) club too! You are right it is lovely to meet and have adult conversations, share stories and learn about our lives and get to know the people we are outside of our children.

    Cara said:
    October 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I’m a member of two ‘real life’ book groups held at local libraries. One I’ve been going to for 8 years the other about 6 or 7. I love that I read books that I wouldn’t ordinarily have picked up myself. It got me back into reading after a drought.

    The best meetings are where people have quite conflicting opinions of a book. It’s great to debate what you did/didn’t like about the plot or characters when someone else saw it in a completely different light.

    I’ve also got an online book group running at http://www.loveabook.co.uk We are reading Black Sea Twilight by Domnica Radulescu if anyone is interested. The author fled her native Romania to America to be able to write after winning a literary prize age 17 – that’s someone who is passionate about books and writing, isn’t it?

    Nikki Thomas said:
    October 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I think book groups are a fab idea. Reading is so good for you but when you have children it’s hard to fit it all in! Good for you for making the effort.

    Fiona said:
    October 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I used to be in a book club (before I had children) but PND meant I was terribly affected by violence or brutality – on TV (even in the news!), or film, or in books, so I pretty much stopped reading, except for old favourites, children’s books, and classics. I’d love to be in a book club again, and am feeling braver about what I might encounter between the pages, but my second little one isn’t yet ready for baby-sitters – an online group sounds like a fantastic idea!

    Emily (@AMummyToo) said:
    October 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    An online group sounds good. Like Fiona I’m a bit sensitive to nastiness in fiction, so I’d maybe have to sit the odd one out, depending on the choices, but I’m definitely interested. Happy to help in any way I can, too.

    Kinga said:
    October 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Ruth…as I said to you in a msg earlier today, I’m impressed you’re able to juggle so much! And thanks for the lovely words about our little group of Classic Readers. 🙂

    Emily and Fiona…if you’re both friends with Ruth on Facebook, we can easily add you. We’re very relaxed and chilled about who takes part and how much you want to contribute. But we’re all keen to hear from others!

    janeblackmore said:
    October 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I think book clubs are a great idea – reminds me I must find one!

      morethanamummy responded:
      October 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      We’re thinking of starting a More Than a Mum online one… let us know if you’d be interested. 🙂

    Musings from a Mum said:
    October 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    A group of mums in my area have just started a book club. I can’t remember now how it came about but we’ve had one meeting and the second is in a few weeks. Its early days but the first meeting was really fun, we kept it quite informal as it was new for most of us but we’ve agreed that the next meeting should have some more structured discussion of the book and then plenty of time to have a glass of wine and catch up.

    It’s really kick started me reading again. I’ve read four books since the last meeting! I’ve remembered how much I love to read and it feels good to be out talking about something v different from the reality of looking after three small people!

    Curly Mum said:
    October 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I would love to go to a book club, but I am too nervous as I think I’d be very out of place. I’m a shy person and while I enjoy reading I’m not hugely bookish, if that makes sense. My mother has told me stories of some of the snobby women in her book group and it has put me off. I would love an online book group. It would suit me more I think, as I wouldn’t feel on the spot so much, which is what worries me so much about a real life group.

      morethanamummy responded:
      October 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Consider yourself added to the list of people who will be informed once the @more_than_a book club is formed!

        Curly Mum said:
        October 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        Thanks! 😀

    kelly Menzies said:
    October 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I think that a book club is a productive way for mums to meet regularly and engage in adult conversation 🙂 I meet weekly with a group of friends but sometimes feel that the gossiping can get a but dull. So this is a new idea x

    moors-mummy said:
    October 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I would love to join but don’t think i would have the time to read a book. I use to be a one book a week girl but since having children i have probably only read ten in the last eight years. I find i am too tired in the evening and struggle to see! I also struggle to find books that grasp me and get me hooked anymore!
    But add me to the list – you might be the inspiration i need!

      morethanamummy responded:
      October 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      Consider yourself added! We could try to make every other book one that is available as an audio book… does that sound like an idea?

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