Reading reflections in the Bookinglass

An expat with a love of fiction

Book Club Rookie

with 12 comments

I came across Dialogue Books, a boutique English-language bookshop in Berlin, as I was searching for something to join that wasn’t to do with bars and parties.

Don’t get me wrong, I am far far far from a party animal….but Berlin is stumble-full of cool, friendly bars…like the upside down one (and this one I just came across that I must go to sometime as it is recommended by another ‘not a bar lover buuut…’ person!).

Ok, so I was searching for people who loved books too. And voila! This website is so chic and they have a book club too… perfect fit for me!

Only one thing stopping me: a little shyness about the fact the I am a book club rookie.

What do people say at a book club? And, yeah, going to a book club in your early twenties, doesn’t that have a bit of a stigma (‘Errr…shouldn’t you just be out drinking til 6am?’) attached?

But after an (non-scary sounding) email exchange with Sharmaine the head of Dialogue, and as I found myself wandering around Senefelder Platz looking for the right road for the little cafe in which we would meet…which made finally arriving on time such a relief, I was happy to introduce myself and sit down at a table with the 3 men who I took to be Dialogue Book Club veterans.

Now… I haven’t* mentioned the actual book that we were to be discussing because it was really a prop for me to actually get out somewhere that was not the shop/flat/office/bar. I was just chuffed to actually be there with my gunpowder tea and meeting people, I really couldn’t care what we discussed. Except of course, I did get intensely involved in the discussion.

It was fun, despite some of the time feeling like a complete uneducated randomer, I felt welcome and engaged. Next month I hope I will be less of a randomer and one more of your usual ecelectic bunch of book lovers (although I think I am going back partly because I love the cafe so much).

At least I won’t be a book club rookie much longer!

How was your first book club experience? Will I ever feel like I belong to a book club?

*Ok I’ll tell you, the book was called ‘Zugzwang’ and was about a psychoanalyst caught up in a murder plot in pre-WWI St Petersberg. I wouldn’t recommend it, it promises so much yet really evoked in me, at best, confusion and, at worst, apathy towards the fate of the characters.

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Written by bookinglass

February 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. I have never been to a book club of any kind, nor would I have the time for it right now…but I am intrigued. I don’t know if I have the right sort of analytical approach to reading that would be required 🙂 But it sounds like fun, especially if I could find a club that was reading books that appealed to me!

  2. Are you on Goodreads too? I live on that site these days

    I attend a book club but I guess I am not a team player and the haven’t been very impressed with me lately. I only go when they are reading something I am interested in! They are mostly women who read one book a month but I like to read more and I don’t have time for bad books!

    Emm

    February 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    • I was expecting mostly women at this book club, I think it is rather unusual. I am a really slow reader but I really like to immerse myself in the book and just can’t seem to do that anywhere apart from in bed (where I don’t get to be so often these days!) This month’s book is a collection of short stories, really struggling through it…meh…

      Checking out Goodreads right now 🙂

      bookinglass

      February 24, 2011 at 12:02 am

      • Cool! It looks like my username is ‘_emm’.

        I’m not too fond of short stories so I get you there! Don’ty worry – I used to be the world’s slowest reader (and even got extra reading time for exams!) and now I am attempting one novel per week. It kind of speeds up the more you read.

        Emm

        February 24, 2011 at 12:06 am

  3. Yes, the collection is named after the short story, Elegy for Easterly, all the stories are based in Zimbabwe. I am not a fan so far. I think I will give Goodreads a go although I have signed up for a few others like this, but this time with facebook I might be able to get some friends involved 🙂 Not sure how to add people yet though…

    bookinglass

    February 24, 2011 at 12:28 am

  4. I have never been in a bookclub and I don’t know anyone who has! I think it’s mostly an American thing.. I would like to do! 🙂

    Lisa

    February 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    • I think you’re right Lisa, quite an American thing, (I am basing this on a scene from ‘Lost’ where they are having a lovely little book club meeting in a suburban setting and then boooom the airplane explodes. anywayz…) I really enjoyed having something to discuss with strangers that instantly brought us together.

      bookinglass

      February 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  5. I have never been to a book club,however my little girl has recently joined one and is loving it…so may consider it..Eliza Keating

    eliza keating

    March 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    • Definitely good fun to discuss books with others 🙂 Although I am not sure if I would be able to stick to my guns if it came to disagreeing with the rest of the group, it tends to be that I want to say good things even if overall I didn’t enjoy the book so much.

      bookinglass

      March 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

  6. Hey Pippa! I’m glad to have found your site, and look forward to reading more! Books are a passion of mine too, but I don’t blog about them way enough… I love what you’re doing though, connecting what you were reading with your experiences at the time. It actually makes a lot of sense: I believe that whatever was happening around you probably influences your experience and interpretation of the book you were reading as well… Fluid! Keep it up!

    Donnay

    March 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

  7. Hi Pippa, Nice to know we share the same passion. I love books but I haven’t read or finished a book in a long time. Busy with a lot of things but would love to devote a day or two on just reading. No interruptions whatsoever. When can I find the time? I hope soon.

    • Not much time it seems, I read on the train but it isn’t as enjoyable. I like to go to bed half an hour early set aside just for reading, although I nearly always end up on the net for longer instead….oops!

      bookinglass

      June 17, 2011 at 12:24 am


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