Book Club Latino Style
I’m an avid reader, reading transports me to faraway places where characters live and roam and I stay with them for the duration of the book. Once it ends I feel so sad like someone just died and I quite don’t know what to do next or how to start a new book without feeling guilty because I’m leaving the old characters behind.
So a few years ago I decided to start a book club with one of my friends, I did a ton of research online chose a book for my group to read, asked a few American friends that I knew where already on clubs of these nature, drafted questions for the end of the session so we could discuss, chose a date and most importantly asked if there was any interest in joining the book club.
I managed to get around 12 Venezuelan girls that wanted to be in the book club. Awesome, in my mind, it was all going to be simple and organized, all the girls were going to be on time, raising their hands to talk, interested in the book itself not in talking with each other and so on. Que risa….
Well, this is how it really went down:
- I invited for x day of the week, silly me, it was never going to happen that easy because I should have known that Laura had gym class, Leonor had breakfast with friends, Beatriz had a message, Maria had art class and so on, really people? Yes, really. Finally after much discussion Wednesdays once a month were settled.
- I invited Wednesday at 11:00 am sharp so we had time to discuss the book before lunch at 1:00 pm, so many things to talk so little time. In much Latino style, not one of the commensals was here on time. Sharp is not in our vocabulary, I should know this by now.
- Once we were finally all here we sat down and I started explaining the guidelines of the club (remember I had done research, asked around etc.) it was like I had hired 12 librarians to give each other a class of how to book club 101. All of us knew how to do it and we needed to make a point at the same time, chaos ensued.
- I don’t know how, but we finally started to talk (if what happened could be called talk) about the book. Keep in mind that I wanted this part of the process to be in order, asking the questions one by one and letting our friends finish speaking their minds before we started to talk ours. Well, do you know what Guacharacas are? Because that is exactly what we turned into, loud birds screaming, laughing and talking at the same time. What had just happened? How do I regain control? no idea.
At the end of the talk I was exhausted I had screamed more than I do with my kids (y eso mucho decir) but I must say that I had learned a lot about the book and my wonderful group of ladies from the Book Club, all of them and their wonderful personalities give something unique and especial to my life and it is amazing how reading in a group can open your mind to experiences and ideas about the characters or the history of the book itself, if you are invited to a book club don’t doubt it join in, you will not regret it.
I regained control with a bell (Campana) that was provided by the leader of each session and that BTW I loved to use it every time someone talks when it’s not supposed to.