Book Club Personalities II
“I think you might be too literary for this book club,” someone once said to me.
When I related this rather hurtful statement to a member of a different book club, she told me, “There are two kinds of book clubs. The ones that analyze the book and the ones where everyone talks about how they feeeeeeel.”
You can probably guess which kind she likes best.
I think she’s right, mostly, although I picture it as more of a spectrum/line graph. On one end you have “visceral reactions,” aka “feeeeeelings.” On the other, you have “literary analysis.” I have to admit, I like to be closer to the right side of the spectrum than the left, but not all the way. Feelings matter, too. A book that evokes no response hasn’t done its job, no matter the genre.
I wonder if I could chart the reactions of the people in all my book clubs and figure out where they go on the spectrum. That is totally a thing I could do.
I’m not sure I would, though.
Anyway, I think almost all my book clubs skew toward the right side of the spectrum but for one: the one I “might be too literary for.” The person who said this wasn’t trying to get me to leave or anything, but pointing out that I was coming to the book club from a different angle, and it was obvious to the point of feeling awkward. I’d already noticed it, but what do you do in that situation? But do I bring a balance to the group, or am I a bad fit?