Sunday, December 7, 2008
Warning: Book Clubs Can Be Dangerous
Apparently, membership in a Book Club should come with a warning label:
"For Doreen Orion, a psychiatrist in Boulder, Colo., the spoiler in her book group was a drama queen who turned every meeting into her own personal therapy session.
Dr. Orion was used to such people in her practice, but in her personal life — well, no thanks.
“There were always things going on in her life with relationships, and she’d want to talk about it,” she said. “There’d be some weird thing in a book and she’d relate it to her life no matter what. Everything came back to her. It was really exhausting after a while.”
"And more clubs means more acrimony. Sometimes there is a rambler in the group, whose opinion far outlasts the natural interest of others, or a pedant, who never met a literary reference she did not yearn to sling. The most common cause of dissatisfaction and departures?
“It’s because there’s an ayatollah,” said Esther Bushell, a professional book-group facilitator who leads a dozen suburban New York groups and charges $250 to $300 a member annually for her services. “This person expects to choose all the books and to take over all the discussions. And when I come on board, the ayatollah is threatened and doesn’t say anything.” Like other facilitators, she is hired for the express purpose of bringing long-winded types in line."