Book club break-ups: It’s not me, it’s them

Reasons for leaving a book club are often circumstantial — a new job, an expanding family, a move to another city.

Once in a while, however, dumping your book group is personal: obnoxious members grate your nerves, there’s more drunken blather than book discussion, a falling-out among members makes meetings tense and uncomfortable. 

Perhaps you just thought a book group sounded like fun and it turned out to be a bore or a chore.

I want to hear about your book club quarrels. If you have ever left a book club, divulge why you chose to find a new club. 

I’m not interested in amicable departures. I want the juicy gossip, the down low on the bad break-ups. 

If your book club has ever ousted a member for bad behavior — or conversely, if you have ever been asked to leave a book club — tell me about the experience.

Advice on the best way to end a commitment to a book group is also welcome. 

Please email responses to aotto[at]minnpost[dot]com by Wednesday, Nov. 3. 

Stories will be kept anonymous, but kindly include your city or region of residence.

The follow-up piece on book club break-ups — sharing reader experiences and insights — will be posted Friday, Nov. 6.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Beth Gaede on 10/27/2009 - 11:01 am.

    Some years ago, members of a book club a friend and I started agreed that we would meet monthly until May, and then we would talk about whether to continue. As it turned out, most of the group members were more interested in giving and receiving personal support than discussing books. I really did want to talk about books, so the group was disappointing to me. But because we had made an agreement to talk in May, I just hung in there and enjoyed their company. Then when we had our evaluation conversation, I told the group that the direction we’d taken wasn’t working for me and that I’d be stepping out.

    As it turned out, the rest of the group didn’t meet again. But if I were ever to start another group, or if I were to join an existing group, I would want to establish a date when we would talk about our future. Agreeing from the beginning to have such a conversation seems to me like a good way to minimize the potential for awkwardness.

  2. Submitted by Rebecca Collins on 11/10/2009 - 11:17 am.

    Hey, what happened to the promised article on book club break-ups?? I was looking forward to reading it… is it still going to be published?

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