Category The Blackpool Tower blog

Guest blogger: @blackpooltower

A subversive view of book group dynamics from one of our favourite tweeters…

Don’t kid yourself. You didn’t really join so you could “share with likeminded readers”. You want to be the boss of the book group.

Here’s how:

1) Props.

Everyone always brings a copy of the book. Why? To read from it during the
evening? No, that would be lame (see point 5). No one really knows why
they do it. They just do. So you have a living room containing ten
middle-class folks and as many identical paperbacks. Make sure yours
looks the best. NO, I don’t mean it’s been carefully covered in plastic
like they do in the library. I mean it’s, well, a bit f***ed. It’s
warped and stained. It has dogeared pages and contains a stack of notes,
scrawled on random envelopes and receipts. It says “I read this in a
fast fury of intellectual vigour; I consumed it hungrily and fiercely
and I’ve devoured its every significance. Whereas you, feeble sap,
barely broke the spine of yours. Thus I win.”

2) Notes.

You want a great wodge of them, stuffed in your book (see point 1, do keep
up). Not neat and tidy, with words underlined, because that says “girls’
school sixth form” like nothing else. No, these notes are extensive and
they are messy. They say “I read fast, I think fast, I write fast. You
can’t read these notes … and in fact neither can I. Deal with it”.

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