Reading Groups (was Re: What I've read lately)

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Fri Jan 31 11:44:25 EST 2003

>I do think it would be difficult to find and put together people to be part
>of a formal writing group of the sort you describe, but, having said I'm
>envious of yours, I really should add that I'm not totally devoid of people
>to discuss books with. I have about three friends who lend each other books
>(to be honest, they mainly borrow my books, but I'm happy to do that), and
>of course we often talk about them, but it's usually only on a one-to-one
>basis. I don't think any of them has the time or inclination to form a
>formal group...but it's something I've never put to them. Maybe I should.

I used to belong to a book group that existed quite happily for about a 
year, and rather unhappily for a couple of years after that. The one thing 
this experience taught me (good and bad) was that you need to have some 
common ground and agreement on HOW you want to talk about the books. Not 
whether or not a specific person likes a book or not, because this kind of 
disagreement makes good discussion. But our group really ran aground 
between the people who wanted to discuss how they felt about the book, and 
the people who wanted more in depth analysis and discussion, and the people 
who wanted to talk about literary theory and critique the books on that 
level as well. Any one of these groups could have been happy and functioned 
well on its own, when they were combined it was a bit of a disaster.


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