He’s reading and talking
Posted by: Kaite Stover
When book groups make the news it’s for one of two reasons. Either Oprah is reading or men are. Anytime Oprah opens a cover, publishers salivate. Book groups across the nation are about to make an overnight bestseller. Anytime men gather to talk about reading material that does not require power tools, it’s time to stop the presses.
Of course, I’m exaggerating. But over at The Telegraph, Viv Groskop is wondering if there is such a thing as a ‘men’s read’ and how differently men read from women in groups. Apparently the men’s book groups in Britain are organized, with reading lists, blogs, and Facebook pages. It’s not unheard of for men’s groups to have written rules and a chairman!
Ms. Groskop tried to visit two different all male groups to observe, but the gents weren’t about to welcome a lady caller to their books ‘n brandy evenings. No matter, she found one that was willing to read a book women would like, a romance by Nora Roberts. The men didn’t sound as if they liked it overly much, but they did understand “why girls read this.”
Like all female book groups, there are some all male groups that gather at the pub for discussion and after a perfunctory round, talk politics and sports. And there’s a group that read War and Peace.
Conclusions? Sounds like men’s groups are similar to women’s groups and it’s good news for all if men are picking up reading and talking as a social interest.
Personally, I’ve observed quite a few men’s book groups in action. They just don’t happen in typical places. All the men I know who like to talk about reading are doing it under the hood of a car, over a smoking grill, or at half-time. And they don’t call it a book club.