The Trouble With Book Clubs

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Esther Bushell, book group facilitator, talks about the potential pitfalls of book groups. Esther was featured in an article about book groups in the Style section of The New York Times last Sunday.


Esther Bushell

Comments [18]

Gail Graham from Tucson Arizona

Fran Cohen --
My novel is being published in June, 2009. Its literary fiction. My idea is to give away 100 copies to reading group facilitators. No strings, no obligation. If you'd like an ARC, please contact me at
Thanks! Gail Graham

Dec. 20 2008 05:18 PM
Fran Cohen from Manhasset Hills, NY

Listeners may want to consider checking with their local libraries for book groups. Most often they are professionally facilitated and offer both a wide variety of discussions and cross section of participants. This would eliminate many of the issues addressed in the article.
Full discloser: I facilitate numerous ongoing book groups all over Long Island.

Dec. 10 2008 07:49 PM
Robin from Astoria

Deborah, one book she mentioned was The Book Thief. You can listen to this segment of the show to hear the others.

Dec. 10 2008 06:09 PM
ellen from ny

f word at book club, twice? This is a grown up or a teen? Could it be she's just obnoxious. The club preferred a less obnoxious atmosphere, more grown up session, not that they were prissy. what a laugh. The adults are taking their cues from the kids now.

Dec. 10 2008 02:10 PM
Deborah from Greenwich Village, Manhattan

What are the book titles the facillitor mentioned? Can someone get back to me on this?

Dec. 10 2008 12:05 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ari, Barnes and Noble has a list of local book clubs.

Dec. 10 2008 12:01 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Ignore the caution from this woman, it is BETTER to be in a club with Family or Friends.

Dec. 10 2008 12:01 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

People are too gullible. Who would pay someone to facilitate a reading club? What a laugh.

Dec. 10 2008 11:59 AM
gsw from Manhattan

I am also looking for a book group in Manhattan - maybe fiction in translation. Any suggestions on how to go about finding one would be much appreciated

Dec. 10 2008 11:59 AM
Tricia from Brooklyn

I find I interesting that the facilitator thinks that the group should not be made up of friends. Perhaps that is why they need a facilitator. If your book group is made up of friends you can resolve issues and don't need to pay an outsider. I find the idea of paying someone to "facilitate" a book group absurd. If you don't like the group, leave it and join another, it is not like you are married to each other.....

Dec. 10 2008 11:57 AM
Tara from Brooklyn NY

I am thinking of starting a book club with my mother, 2 sisters and 2 cousins. I heard with interest your caution to forming clubs with existing friends does the same hold true for family members.

I think it would be enlightening and make us more aware of each other feelings, interests, etc.

Dec. 10 2008 11:57 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Are there really no message boards devoted to the discussion of different books? If there were a centralized board with threads devoted to each chapter then anyone could join in the discussion of any given book posted. I'd love to have a forum to discuss 2666 on.

Dec. 10 2008 11:56 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

I am a part of a small group of 6 formed of a first group of 10, we "the friends" split off from a group where there were strangers, that caused conflict because the reading styles and personalities couldn't come together. They wanted to have a party every month when we got together instead of actually discussing the book. There was alcohol (maritini's) at every meeting.

Dec. 10 2008 11:55 AM

Where can I find a good non-fiction book club in NYC?

Dec. 10 2008 11:55 AM
Ash in Manhattan from Manhattan

I note that so far, I have only heard women on this topic. Are no men involved in book groups? Don't men read?

Dec. 10 2008 11:53 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

I can tell by the sound of that caller that she would NOT be welcome in our group. We do NOT curse up a storm and she sounds overly aggresive. Someone who would try to debate with everyone in the club.

Dec. 10 2008 11:53 AM
chris from brooklyn

pathetic. only in New York I guarantee it. can't figure how to do something, why not just pay someone to do it for you?

Dec. 10 2008 11:49 AM
sunny ozell from brooklyn

slow news day huh?

Dec. 10 2008 11:49 AM

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