The Pros & Cons of Book Clubs, by Bette Lee Crosby

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Kindle_SpareChangeCover Half the people you know probably belong to some sort of book club. Some love it, some tolerate it, some claim they’re far too busy to read a book every month, and others find fault with the quality of books selected. Still the number of book clubs in existence continues to grow, as does their popularity. Why?

I do belong to a book club – it’s called the Analyze This Group. Although I can’t speak for the vast number of clubs across the country, I can tell you a bit about our Book Club. Our members almost never miss a meeting unless it is absolutely, positively, unavoidable…something the magnitude of a death in the family, or a flat-on-my-back-and-will-die-if-I-move sickness.

We all read the book – and – we discuss it at length. Sometimes we discuss it ad nauseum.  We don’t simply decide we liked or disliked it; we study the characters’ actions and alternatives, compare their experiences to ones we ourselves have undergone, laugh at their (and our own) haphazard missteps and sometimes even shed a tear because of their plight. At times a meeting will start with a negative comment about the book, but even that inevitably leads to an exploration of the protagonist’s motives and ultimately a greater understanding of the story. Although I am a voracious reader myself, my book club buddies have introduced me to a number of new authors and wonderful stories that I most probably would never have read.

We have over twenty women in our group, and several others waiting to join, but members seldom leave, because Book Club is more than just a discussion group, it’s an afternoon of unbridled friendship. Of letting go of things you may not have talked about for years and knowing that not one of your friends will think less of you or carry the tale elsewhere. It’s having a glass of wine, eating the type of food we don’t make for our husbands, and conversation that is thoughtful, intelligent and stimulating. Book club group

Book Club is having twenty wonderful friends, any one of whom I could call for help, even in the dead of night. Sure, I’ve had times when I was so rushed I barely had time to shower before dashing off to the meeting, and we’ve read a few books that were rather forgettable …but I still would not have missed the experience of a single Book Club discussion. Some people claim their life is too busy for reading, not to mention a full afternoon for the discussion…I pity those poor people. The truth is, a life such as that only seems full, but in things that matter, it is most probably empty. Books enrich us with knowledge, entertainment and quite often memories of things we might otherwise have allowed to be forever entombed in our cranial data base. Books take us to places we may never visit, introduce us to people we will never know, and with the turn of a page, can transport us back and forth through time. Through books, our world grows larger and our personal problems seem smaller. Not only does participation in a book club give us all of that, it also challenges our minds and opens the door to new friendships.

I said I would give you the pros and cons of books clubs, but the only con is that for one short afternoon a month, you are unplugged…which in thinking about it, is not a bad thing.

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Crosby_headshotAward-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.

Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012) and Cupid’s Christmas (2012). She has also authored Life in the Land of IS a memoir of Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Connect with Bette Lee Crosby on Facebook or on her website.

Award-winning Author of the Amazon Bestseller SPARE CHANGE

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