I Got My Wish: A Book Group (with a side of Anxiety)

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So, I’m a high school English teacher who hasn’t been reading nearly enough to justify two advanced degrees and years of peddling the love of literature to teenagers.  I have tried to read more, but my pre-child fantasies of reading The New York Times and doing the crossword every day (ha!) once I was at home with “the baby” scampered out the door with my good night’s sleep.  I’ve mainly focused on lighter reading that includes fictionalized history involving Anne Boleyn and fantasy and science-fiction that involves dragons and genetic mutation.  Since moving to suburbia, however, I’ve been yearning to join a book group.  You know, a super motivated, intelligent, friendly group of locals who love to read and discuss the works more deeply than how the cover relates to the content.  Well, I got my wish.  And now I’m terrified! 

Okay, I’m not terrified, but I am a little nervous.  What if I talk too much?  Not enough?  What if I say something about the novel that sounds pretentious or obtuse?  What if I come off as a know-it-all-who-really-doesn’t-know-it-at-all?  So many What Ifs!

As a book group virgin, my visualizations of book groups come from watching The Jane Austen Book Club and seeing a book club with Toni Morrison on Oprah.  (And yes, I wrote in to be included in that dream book-talk, but was rejected.)  Of course, I always had a captive book group of students five times a day, six on the days my after-school book club met.  But this book club is serious.  It’s established, and it has canapés, wine, and dessert.

Oh dear.  What will happen when I have to host?  I can’t just bring out Costco frozen mini-quiche.  Should I hire my next door neighbor to make hors d’oeuvres?  Should I just run out to Whole Foods and raid their pantry items?  And will the kids be quiet upstairs so everyone comments on how well-behaved they are?  And where will everyone sit?  I don’t have comfy seating for more than six four people.

Anyway, I got what I wanted.  I am now a part of a real book group.  I get to combine my desire to read with my desire for adult conversation.  I already picked up my first book at Watchung Booksellers the other day, and I’m reading it weeks before the actual meeting.  Performance anxiety aside, I’m looking forward to the first book group meeting so I can banish my fears and enjoy the experience.  Here’s to getting your wish!

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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to the car culture, dealing with leaving a career I love, and spouting off along the way.
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15 Responses to I Got My Wish: A Book Group (with a side of Anxiety)

  1. Carla says:

    Wine and dessert! That sounds like the right kind of book club.

  2. Tracey says:

    Ooh! Sounds like fun! Do you plan on wearing an apron to match your outfit? And heels? And bouffant hair? (btw, I LOVE Watchung Booksellers!)

  3. charlywalker says:

    Food, Wine, & Spark notes..works for me….
    Love this post!

  4. I’m sure it will be just fine and you’ll have a good time. I was looking to join a book club too but apparently I’m the only person in Rockland County, NY who enjoys reading. So I joined an online book club and am thinking of doing SITS online book club too. If your IRL book club doesn’t work out you can join me!

  5. Anna S. says:

    i’ve always wanted to be part of a book club too. i convinced friends to have one with me the beginning of my first year in college. i still remember what we read – doors of perception by aldous huxley. after that initial meeting, there were four years of book club inside jokes but alas never a second meeting.

    which is to say, i’m more than a little jealous of your book club.

  6. Wine and dessert definitely. Just went to my first book club last night, it was fun. But definitely had jitters about getting the brain back in action!

  7. Pingback: Watchung Booksellers: Space for Graphic Novels | This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.

  8. Pingback: Quelling Book Group Anxiety: Let Them (and you!) Read Free Books! | This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.

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