Can a book group change a life?

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This article in The TimesOnline is an interesting one about one woman’s experience of joining a book group.

It begins : “It was ten years ago and I was a new mum at the local school. My son bounced into the playground and made friends while I stood on the fringes wondering what the parent protocol might be and feeling slightly awkward. Conversations were eventually struck up, coffees drunk and then, after a few months, came an invitation. Would I like to join a book club?”

Here are some other quotes from the article :

  • In some respects a book club sounds counterintuitive. Reading is a solitary pursuit, an opportunity to shut out the world of work or the drone of the television.
  • Book clubs are a cure for that sudden onset of depression.
  • The rise of the book club has transformed the way we feel about reading. Where there were geeks there are now trend setters. Books are cool. Books are common currency. “What team do you support?” and “What are you reading right now?” are interchangeable in the realm of casual conversation.
  • It is less painful to read a flawed novel if you are not alone and more pleasurable to devour a superb one if you know you can share your thoughts almost immediately. A good book will always make you feel special, as if the author had you in mind. It will always transport you away from your sofa or deckchair to Victorian Clerkenwell or outer space. When you land back in your chair, though, it is rather nice to be able to talk about the journey with someone who has been there too.
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