To ensure your next book club meetup is a success, you’ll want to avoid making the following book club faux pas.
Faux Pas #1: Not Listening
If everyone agreed on everything, your discussion would come to a screeching halt. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to his or her opinion. Hear others out and then respond.
Faux Pas #2: Watching the movie instead
It’s great to see the film adaptions of your favorite books, but one does not replace the other. Not only could they differ in plot, but you miss out on language and structure and description and secondary characters and all those lovely words. Perhaps work a movie into your book club schedule by planning to read a book and then watching the film version as a group. Then you can discuss how the two compare!
Faux Pas #3: Shouting
Just because you’re loud, doesn’t mean you’re right. After all, this is a discussion, which means that everyone is allowed to speak.
Faux Pas #4: Disregarding other opinions
It would be amazing if you liked every single book you read. Amazing, but highly unlikely. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion—and the opportunity to share it. Whether you loved the selection or hated it, listen to your fellow book clubbers.
NONE OF THIS PLEASE:
Faux Pas #5: Being unprepared
You know that panicked feeling when the teacher calls on you and you have nothing to say? No one wants to feel that way at book club—it’s supposed to be fun! Come prepared with a question or a favorite passage. It helps to take a few notes or mark a few pages while reading so that you’re prepared to talk about what you liked or didn’t like.
Faux Pas #6: Give reasons
“Because I said so” only works when your mom is telling you something. Fellow book club members are interested in your opinion, but more than that, they want to know why you feel the way that you do. Don’t state something without being prepared to back it up.
Faux Pas #7: Messy Snacks
No book club is complete without a little brain food, but save the chicken wings and fondue for later. Snacks should be easy to eat and mess-free. Plus, no one wants greasy fingerprints on those beautiful book jackets or e-reader screens!
Avoid any snacks that makes you do this:
Faux Pas #8: Being pretentious
There is a way to get your thoughts into the conversation without making everyone else feel stupid. No one is better than everyone else, so don’t act like you are. Book clubs are a great way for a diverse group of people, with a variety of views, to chat together.
Faux Pas #9: Tammy-Texts-A-Lot
Unless you have the author on the other end, there is no need to be on your phone during a book club meeting. You have plenty of people to talk to right in front of you, and you might miss out on some great comments. Instagram that photo of the group with their books and yummy snacks, and then put the phone away. Not just on silent, but out of sight.
Faux Pas #10: Skipping the reading
Everyone gets overwhelmed and busy, and sometimes it is impossible to finish the book in time, but try your best! If you didn’t quite finish it but feel that you read enough to contribute, don’t skip the meeting. Be prepared for other members to argue points that you might have missed—and be prepared for spoilers!
Okay, occasionally you are going to skip the reading, but you can still join in book club! Just be honest about your lapse and don’t pretend to know more than you do. And don’t be lame every time—that’s the ultimate faux pas and could even get you voted out (!).
If someone else in the club didn’t finish the book, don’t give that person a hard time. Being mean is even worse than being lame—and one day it could be you!
READ THE BOOK or you’ll end up like poor Prince Harry:
That’s it from us! What other book club faux pas do you recommend avoiding? Head down to the comments and share your book club do’s and don’ts!