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December 08, 2008


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i don't have a break up, but we do have the one loud person who goes on and was funny to read that story in the times.

Julie E.

Fun topic. I'm in a small group now, but in the past I was in two other groups at the same time. One I had to leave because I moved away.

The other book group is the real breakup story. We had one woman who basically ran the show--she would turn down other people's book ideas, so we basically ended up reading only books she chose (mostly classics). She also convinced us to change our meeting time from a weekday dinner meeting to a Saturday breakfast meeting--which the rest of us weren't too crazy about, but we did it because it worked best for her. Then, half the time, she wouldn't show up anyway! We had another member who rarely showed too, and since we only had 4 members, it made things a little awkward--and ANNOYING. I mean, why be in a group at all if you're not going to commit to attending the meetings?

I eventually got fed up, plus I had gotten really busy and didn't have time for two groups anymore. So, I sent everyone in this group an e-mail and said I only had time for one group and preferred to stay in the one where other folks had the same views on attendance as I did. As I suspected would happen, this actually precipitated the demise of the group.

My new group is a two-person group. :) We meet every two months after work, have a glass of wine, and discuss the book in a relaxed way. It's the best option for me right now.


I became involved with a book group because I enjoy books and did want to meet and socialize since I was new to the area. I was looking forward to this new experience since I had not been part of a book group before. Unfortunately it did not work out so I left. The books chosen were not to my liking, and no one listened to my selections and the women all were friends for ages and did not take to a newcomer. Alas, I will definitely try out another bookclub since this interests me greatly and I am persistent.


I had to leave the book club I was in, the first one; my former mother-in-law invited me the prior year and when I divorced her son, well, you can fill in the rest. I LOVED the group; the women were wonderful. (It was a small group of women from the same neighborhood as my MIL.) My favorite books that we read were The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian and Population 385 by Mike Perry. It opened me up to so many different authors and great non-fiction books. I've tried starting a group at my church and no one answered the call. Its still a daydream of mine to start another club someday. Not much luck finding anything local except for at the library, but if anyone in Madison, WI has a tip on a great women's book club let me know at!!


Our book club was veeery short-lasting. We started off as 5 people and we figured every month another person would pick the book. the first month the book wasn't bad at all but there was nothing (no joke) to discuss about it and it was during a stressful school time for 2 of the members. so with all that we didn't mind cancelling 1 of them. the second book was great, it was wuthering heights. but 3 of the members absolutely hated it and they didn't say it out loud or anything but they weren't exactly sad when we weren't able to figure out a meeting. and then..well...we never really tried again. my friend (who was in the group) and me tried to restart it, with diff people, or the same people, or just us 2...but it didn't really work...which sucks.
The book looks really interesting, though, and the article was...funny? I guess also interesting :) I liked the story about the really high standards with the tea competitions and everything, hehe.

Artful Kisser

I joined a particular book club on the recommendation of 2 friends who were members. They mentioned some of the books they'd read and really talked the group up so I was really looking forward to finding out what the first book would be. Except there was no book. I was asked to rock up to the movies where I was advised we'd be watching 'Indestructible' with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson and critiquing it afterwards. I so hated this movie that I was dumbstruck. I can't stress how much I hated it - I would rather go through childbirth again. So all I could say was "I HATED IT! I thought this was a book club???" I was informed that the other members didn't appreciate my input and would prefer it if I didn't return, which stung only because I didn't want to be a member of a fake book club anyway...


I'm not going to put my real name here but my beloved book club self destructed when one member started using us as a support group. Each meeting had a speech by her that lasted over an hour with no interruptions. And I mean none. She wouldn't read the book and none of us got the guts together to ask her to leave. She had previously invited another friend of hers to join who had displayed the same behavior and when that friend left, she took over the pest role that had been created. I miss that book club before the problems cropped up with the two members so much sometimes, it just hurts to think about it.


I thought that joining a book club would be an enjoyable evening out every month, but I was sadly mistaken. Too many harsh opinions who took everything so seriously, poor book choices which turned me off and abrasive personalities. I love to stay home and read now, which is a relief.

Rusty Weston

One thing the NY Times article failed to mention is that with online book clubs, it's very easy to join or quit a book group - no excuse required! ;-)

I recently started an application on Facebook called (appropriately) Book Clubs.
We have 800 members so far (just in one month) and it is available to anyone with Facebook membership (all of which is free). Anyone can join or start a public book club, and we also allow the creation of private book clubs, too. Hope to see you there!


I lead a group here at the library where I work. We've been meeting for 10 years now. I'm sure I've had people who haven't come to a second meeting becuase they don't like how we work. But I've had really good luck with my group. We do have one lady who has lots of stories to share and the group is good about listening but they give me signals when they've heard enough and I move us along.

Darby Lohrding

We had a book club, that signed up on-line and then our coordinator would notify the newbies of our location and time. Well newbies kept signing up yet never arriving so we were always waiting on people who said they were going to show up, to show up! Very frustrating! Because there were only 2-3 of us who regularly showed up, we soon just stopped meeting...rather sad, when I write it up like this.
Thanks for filling in for Jen!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com


I have been a member of several book clubs over the years- some more successful than others. The personal stories can really take over. The leader/ facilitator is key to a successful discussion. One person can really spoil it for the rest. I do love the book blog bookclubs!


I have been running a book club for over four years now and lots of members have come and gone for various reasons. Some just didn't have the time to read and or attend the group or they moved out of town. The most memorable "break-up", something the remaining original member and I still talk about to this day, was our first person to quit. The month after we read a copy of her first novel, I asked the wife of my husbands friend to join the book club. Thinking that it was my club and I could ask whoever I want to join I did so without asking the other members. Well she was PISSED and I mean PISSED! She waited until the day of the meeting to e-mail me and tell me so. I never heard from her again even though I apologized.

Mom of sons

Great article! My book club has just about all those examples in one way or another. (Which one am I? Hmm. Of course, none of us posting here were ever the problem! Ha ha.) Seriously, I know I was too critical and anal and picky: about the books, when people didn't bother to read the books, when people picked crime or romance novels without anything to discuss, and when we wouldn't stick to our monthly schedule. I have relaxed a LOT in the past year and I think it's been good for the club, and for me. I think I still need to keep my comments at meetings shorter. As evidenced here in this long post!

We have six members now - we were seven, but one woman who rarely showed up (and when she did used the group to listen to her monologue about herself, always a melodrama) is moving out of state. We are relieved - it's a drag to figure out how to seat 7 at your dinner table (we take turns hosting at our homes) and then have her not show up or even bother to call.


I'm sending a blog I wrote about this very topic. Here's the link! I hope this qualifies me for the giveaway!

mulling on this

When I read this item in the NYT, my first thoughts were about how it seemed to underscore or support negative stereotypes about women and their relationships with each other, i.e. competition and envy. But, there is always a kernel of truth in stereotypes.

My neighborhood book club seems to be going through a rough spot right now or maybe it's more the case that it is coming out of a rough spot. Not sure but I'm not that satisfied with it right now. It was formed to bring a neighborhood together as new houses were built and people moved into the neighborhood but maybe that has been accomplished after five years. I'm ok with letting it go. I'm thinking about putting my energies elsewhere...maybe forming a co-ed book club of actual readers.


I'd love to start a book club or just read a book and have someone to discuss it with. I love to read if any of you are interested i would defenitly start one if your serious


Email to read a book a month and discuss it. I mean good ole fashion ways...via email or messenger or maybe we could create a chat room for this I'm new at internet crap but I want to know more and I don't want all the junk thats been adhered to it. So if any one is serious about reading and wanting to discuss a book I'm more than willing to start where someone has left off or start a new one. I'm just not sure how but I learn fast so any suggestions on how I could start a book discussion group. email i'm not afraid to write my real name.

air yeezy

Deliberate before you begin, then execute with vigor.

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Who is Book Club Girl?

  • Book Club Girl is: a member of a book club and an avid reader who spent most of her childhood immersed in a book, an English major who considered library school until she realized it was all about computers, so turned to publishing, where she now works (but she vows to talk about books from all over and not to simply flog those from her own house). She was single, lived in the city, met a man, moved to the 'burbs, and is now a wife, a stepmother, a mother, and in her spare time, a fledgling blogger dedicated to sharing great books, news and tips with book club girls everywhere.

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