The Fear of Joining a Book Club

Every now and again people try something different in life. Some go bungee jumping or off-road extreme dirty trailblazing high flying mountain biking, I joined a book club.


Illustration by Nina Fernande

In complete and utter insanity I joined a collective that had the same passion as me, reading books. But then again I had big doubts if it could live up to it’s expectations. There’s the pressure of reading one book a month, some big, some small but always with a ticking clock in mind. I sometimes leave a book for two weeks because of busy schedules and no desire to step into another world because this current dimension I live in is so thrilling. Books should grow on you and be a companion you meet every now and again, not the guy that calls you every day to see how you are doing. Don’t get me wrong, I love books but at my own pace and liking.

Then there is the second big obstacle, the books you have to read. Unknown, vague and totally out of my comfort zone titles that you’ve totally overlooked the last time you were in the bookshop. Thankfully we’ve got a small influence in this process but hell, I’m an individual, don’t limit my reading preferences please!

Every month we get the must-read book nicely delivered. This also saves me another trip to one of my favourite places anywhere, the bookshop. Always looking for an excuse to visit, the book club saves me one. How many countless hours I’ve spent in a store? I could’t even fathom. Enjoying talks with my personal bookseller, small talk and good tips included.

Besides my fears and objections it also had some nice upsides. I would never be without companions to complain how bad this book was or cheer it when it’s totally out of this world. There would be a new group of people that help me nurture the book hangover. The feeling you get when you finished a really awesome work of literature. A new social gathering that might just be as nerdy as me when it comes to references and inside jokes. Who knows I might as well meet some nice attractive ladies while I’m at it.

Right now, as we’re a couple of sessions in, I find it rewarding. It was not totally what I expected, it turns out to be even cooler. Book clubs are pretty awesome, I just might join a second one soon…

Gino van Weenen
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