Book Groups, and the Literary Blind Date

Years ago I belonged to a book group. It was a group of biology researchers of various kinds at Harvard, as well as friends and hangers on, who liked taking a break from lab work to discuss literature. It went on for a few years, and I had a great time, made friends, and read some works I would not have found otherwise.

I haven't done anything like that since. Recently, however, I've started checking out various Meetup groups in my area, including a couple of book groups.  Last night I attended one that discussed Nabokov's fantasia on his early life, Speak, Memory.

A first session with a new book group is very much like a blind date. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will we have anything to talk about?

In the event, I had a great time. Smart people, great discussion, and we got to meet outside at Radcliffe Yard until it got too dark to see each other, and it got cold, and a guard showed up to tell us we weren't supposed to be where we were.

I'm also trying out another book group, one that meets in bars associated with the topic of the book being read. I liked the first meeting of that one too.

Reading books for book groups risks being yet another assignment in a life overfull of them, and another way of getting behind on other reading, but meeting interesting new people makes it worth it. It got done writing my book at the same time as a number of other things are changing in my life. It's time for a change of mental scenery.