Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?
This is a great question. I've never been a member of a face-to-face group, but over the years I've been part of online groups. Most, I've lost interest in, but one group, The Classics Club, is the one of been part of the longest. It's 4 years now! Wow!
I've been moderator for 1 year now, and while it can be a lot of work, it's very rewarding. It's a great group to be a part of. What makes it a good group, I think, is organization. When it comes time to choose a book, all members have the option to suggest a book. Then we have a vote and the one with the most votes wins. While everyone has the choice to opt out, we require that members not miss more 2 book discussions in a row. Lurking is frowned upon. We need to discuss to have a discussion!
I think each member has their own relationship with the books we chose. The books are classic literature. Some of us love classics, others want to love classics. Some feel that these are the books they should be reading, some would have read them anyway. I think most of us are glad when we've finished a book. I've read members say that they would never have picked up a certain book, if it weren't for the group. Sometimes the books can be a struggle, but ultimately we are glad we've read them. There is so much to get from classic books.
Each member brings something different to the discussion. We all interpret what we read different because of our own life experience. I've been surprised by some of the ideas that have come up during the discussion. I see a whole new way of looking at a passage or a sentence. The discussion has only enhanced my reading.
Of course, it is nice to read something just because too!