Last year I started a book club on FaceBook. I had noticed that I had many friends who posted asking for book recommendations or raving about one they had read. These were people who all knew me but didn't necessarily know each other so I thought it'd be neat to invite them all to one group to share our love for books. Everybody was receptive, which I expected, and I have enjoyed seeing them interact with each other. We have a constantly growing list of Suggested Books, which are ones we want to read for our club and then another of Recommended Books, which are ones that some of us have read and think the others would enjoy. About half way through the month, I'll start a post asking what everyone is wanting to read for the following month. Sometimes there are six suggestions and sometimes only one or two. Then majority rules and we pick our book for the next month. Whoever finishes first starts a post (marking it with a spoiler alert!) and we share our thoughts.
The cool thing about our group is not everybody has to participate all the time. There are a few of us who obviously devour books, reading a few each month but there are others who read when they have the time and only post occasionally. This gives us all a place to go for suggestions and discussion at our own pace. I've found it to be awful when I finish a book I and am dying to talk about it but don't know anyone else who has read it!
This month, our selected book is one that I've read before. A couple girls in the group were interested in reading it but I was going to pass and read something else instead. Then the last time I was at the library, I thought I'd just see if they had a copy available. They did so I decided to read it again. It's been at least ten years since I read it. When I was living in North Carolina, a friend here in Montana had mailed me a copy. He had loved it and thought I would too. I only remember a little bit, but I knew I'd liked it, so I figured I'd read it again and be part of our group's discussion.
I cracked it open one evening earlier this week. I was settling down into bed at night, looking forward to reading. You can imagine my surprise when I got about thirty pages in and thought "Yuck. I do not care for this". I actually considered not finishing it. I rarely do that so I decided to power through since it's a fairly short book and easy to read. I'm about two thirds of the way through now and it's a little bit better but I still don't like it much. Typically I don't give it much thought if I don't like a book. It happens. This time however, it's caused me to stop and reflect on my dislike. A decade ago I did like it so why don't I like it now? My relationship with the person who sent me the book is different now than it was all those years ago but I still love to read. It's made me to think about my journey, about the kind of person I was then and what I liked versus who I am now and what I enjoy these days. I don't know exactly what can account for this difference but I appreciate it. It does make me wonder about other books (and all sorts of other things) that I've given my stamp of approval over the years. I know they say our taste buds change over the years, maybe that's not just for food?