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book club - how long do you spend talking about the actual book?

(26 Posts)
deaconblue Wed 07-Sep-11 11:15:34

we had our first book club last night and I was hosting. We only chatted about the book for about 45 mins then spent another hour or so chatting about all sorts. I think everyone enjoyed it but I felt bad that we hadn't really talked about the book for long. Should I have prepared some points for discussion (we just chatted from idea to idea) or should I just chill out and not worry how long it takes?

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Wed 07-Sep-11 11:27:22

45 minutes is about 40 minutes longer than any book club I've been a member of has chatted about the book for.
IME (admittedly only two clubs), it was a quick I liked it/didn't like it type thing, then on to gossip and wine.

elkiedee Wed 07-Sep-11 13:30:27

45 minutes talking about the book and then an hour about other stuff sounds like a good balance to me - book clubs often don't talk about the book for 45 minutes.

Chandon Wed 07-Sep-11 14:03:09

10 mins, wish it was more but everyone is afraid to seem pretentious or snobs

deaconblue Wed 07-Sep-11 15:14:28

Oh no now I'm worried we're pretentious! smile
Glad it sounds like an ok balance. Will try to stop stressing and enjoy, it was my idea so I'm keen for it to be a success

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 08-Sep-11 20:48:21

It does sound like a good balance, and yes, you should stop stressing and enjoy!

Which book did you read?

Carrotsandcelery Thu 08-Sep-11 20:51:19

I think it depends which book you read. We have talked and talked about some and others don't really get off the ground. It also depends what else is going on in your social circle at the time, who has turned up that night, all sorts of things.
We do try not to talk about the book while we are all reading it though and to save it all for book group.grin

mumtoted Thu 08-Sep-11 21:06:57

A couple of minutes at best, those that actually read the book.

StopRainingPlease Thu 08-Sep-11 21:13:53

It's good to go with lists of questions - you can find these for most books if you hunt around the web. We don't always stick to the questions (or to talking about the book) but it does promote more varied discussion than just people saying liked it/didn't like it.

DeepPurple Thu 08-Sep-11 21:15:22

We have an hour of food and chatting, 30-40 mins talk about the book, an hour of chatting in general again. We all love it!

deaconblue Fri 09-Sep-11 07:33:12

Book was waterland by Graham swift. I chose it, most people weren't keen but it gave us lots of things to discuss

HallnotOates Fri 09-Sep-11 07:34:03

arf at you chilling out

you worrying about something Sb? wink

PandaG Fri 09-Sep-11 08:02:53

we usually spend anything from 25 mins to an hour talking about the book, and sometimes our general chat will then be on themes coming out of the book. Usually the proposer of the book comes with a list of (googled) questions. We spent a long time chatting about he book last night because it provoked quite a lot of personal responses.

Pang Fri 09-Sep-11 08:39:05

Fourtyfive minutes is pretty good. My group use to spend about 10 min on book and 2 hours+ on gossip and wine. It was fun but some of us were getting a bit frustrated with having read books that no one wanted to talk about. We got a couple new members who are from outside our close group of friends and it has added new life to the group. I guess because their opinions and ideas can be quite challenging. So now we discuss the book for about an hour+ and often come back to the book during later more personal discussions. So yes, we still chit chat and drink wine but we also have a really good discussion about the book.

We also formed a pub club because we realised that a couple of the members really didn't want to read the book. They just came for the wine, company and chat. So now they don't have to and we meet monthly for a drink at the pub.

OP - Do you feel the book talk was frustratingly short? Perhaps you can make a few points for discussion or have some questions prepared to ask the others.

deaconblue Fri 09-Sep-11 13:22:55

I thought 40 mins was fine. I guess I was worried other people might have felt we didn't discuss the book enough.

deaconblue Fri 09-Sep-11 13:23:39

P.s hallnotoats, another on my long list of meaningless worries smile

Chandon Fri 09-Sep-11 19:29:33

well, in our 10 minute one, we spend such a short time on the book, and HOURS talking about people's kitchen extensions, and people's kids (that you've never met).

Should find another book club really, as I really like a good debate about a theme not related to my own (boring) life. I also like hearing other people's explanations of bits I did not like or did not get, or if people know more about the author.

Colyngbourne Sat 10-Sep-11 09:56:14

About half an hour or more on the book, depending on how interesting it was.

munstersmum Sun 11-Sep-11 12:16:11

Wonders if DeepP & I are in same bkclb?

CDMforever Mon 12-Sep-11 20:46:38

God yes, we usually only spend 15 minutes tops on the book then loads and loads of chit chat usually about food.............

The books we have had longer discussions about have been The Help and The Other Hand.

gethelp Wed 14-Sep-11 13:12:35

I thought the first rule of book club is that nobody talks about book club? We're talking about Caitlin Moran tonight, which I liked until I heard her on the radio, and the woman never draws breath.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 14-Sep-11 13:57:03

grin at get help, you obviously take your book club very seriously. Perhaps you could suggest Fight Club as your next book or maybe something else by Mr Palahniuk, Choke could provide some interesting discussions.....

fruitshootsandheaves Wed 14-Sep-11 14:07:28

Sometimes we haven't even read the book when we meet up again or we'll mention it as we're arranging the next meeting!

We did have one member leave because she wanted to do it properly with notes about the books and not read chick lit it didn't suit her

As i don't do the school run and most of our children are now not at the same schools it's really just an excuse to catch up.

gethelp Wed 14-Sep-11 14:32:56

We did a Joseph Conrad once. Very short discussion. The best books are ones you'd never try unless prompted and end up being amazing. And the best part of book club is when we try and remember authors and titles, 'you know the one who wrote that one with the man and the lake, it was by that woman with the hair'.

gethelp Wed 14-Sep-11 14:39:39

God, Choke would be a great book club book! I might have to join a different group first . . . .

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