Why do we love books?



I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a Book Club meeting which meets weekly on Mondays at 10:00am. The reason I stated the day and time of this group is that all members are retired from employment. I probably was the youngest person present. I’m in my fifties and I looked like everyone’s daughter.

Do older readers play favorites with certain authors?

I introduced myself to the group indicating I had just moved to Washington from Illinois. I stated that I was looking for a book discussion group and that I was in the process of writing a book. Being a blogger, I introduced Caleb and Linda Pirtle as an Indie Group in the reading and writing business. I would be taking notes with their permission. I started writing down authors and titles of books that were being discussed.

I asked what format the group had for its members. One person led the group. The spokesperson greeted me as I was recognized as a new person, offering me coffee and passing the plate of cookies. There were a dozen people present, two males and ten females.  All individuals were given the opportunity to speak by taking turns going clockwise around the table. Most individuals had at least three books with them piled on the table in front of them.

Each individual started by introducing themselves and welcoming me. A report was given about the book they had just finished reading this past week. They presented the title and author, a brief description of the book and shared their opinion. The chairperson asked a few questions about each book, some regarding historical references and/ or questions regarding the author’s background. An occasional question was asked regarding the story’s setting and location. Many individuals wanted to read about places they had traveled to.

Then the book was passed across the table, it was offered to anyone who would be interested in reading. Owners of the respective book had their name on the inside cover to ensure its final return. There did not appear to be a deadline for the return as it appeared members were familiar with each other and many lived in the apartments associated with the community club house where the meeting was held.

The woman sitting next to me was opening her newly arrived book from Amazon. She was excited about its arrival, her favorite author’s new release.

When it came my turn to talk, I had a few questions. I stated, “From what I have been listening to, it appears the subject matter, the genre, is more important than the author?” I was immediately challenged, “Why no, why do we have to choose between an author and a genre?” “They are equally important! “ All agreed. These were serious readers.

I thanked everyone for having me as their guest and indicated I would return on following Mondays, when I was not traveling.

The meeting came to a close about an hour and fifteen minutes from inception. I stayed afterwards talking to two individuals about writing, with lap top in hand I introduced them to Venture galleries ’website.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    Judy, I believe that the answer to the question you raise has two parts. In the beginning, a reader chooses genre. He or she either like mystery or romance or science fiction, etc. As soon as readers discover authors they like, then ttheir number one priority is to select books written by storytellers they really enjoy. Find the author, and he or she will be writing in the genre the reader likes.

  • Gordon Pinda

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Book clubs are a wonderful way for meeting people with common interests.
    Enjoyed reading your article.

  • Katie

    I love the photo you are using at the top of the post. I was wondering if you (Judy) took the photo yourself or if you know who did. I would love to get permission to use it on a flyer that I am creating for a release party of a journal. Thanks!

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Katie, it is a non=copyrighted photo you can find on Google.

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