One is the lonliest of numbers (for book clubs)

But then, if you like to read alone, you probably aren't in a book club. QED, people. Motoko Rich wrote in the NYTimes about lone readers versus the social reader. Rich contends:
The collective literary experience certainly has its benefits. Reading with a group can feed your passion for a book, or help you understand it better. Social reading may even persuade you that you liked something you thought you didn’t.

There is a different class of reader, though. They feel that their relationship with a book, its characters and the author is too intimate to share. “The pursuit of reading,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “is carried on by private people.”
I wonder if there is a judgment call being made here. I. Just. Can't. Tell.


  1. What's weird in this piece is the possessiveness thing. How can anyone think, "The Yearling" is mine.

  2. Terry: I kind of get the possessive thing. It isn't that I think that book is mine so much as I feel my experience with it is mine. I might want to talk about it later, but for the major book experiences in my life I don't want to discuss with anyone for those first few days afterwards. It's oddly private at that juncture, a quiet, intense rumination while passages and ideas roll around and pop up in my head like Bingo numbers.

    Usually by the time I've read it through again I'm ready to talk about it.