DOLCE VITA di LIBRO: WHAT TO DO IF THE BOOK SELECTION ISN'T FANTASTIC
Okay, not every book is going to be super-wonderful. You don't want anyone to feel bad just because the choice of books wasn't the best and you feel a little disappointed yourself. Yet, you feel as though you should do or say something positive.
You've made a commitment to the book club to show up. You've made a commitment to read the book selections. You've made a commitment to yourself to read the book...and you've started to read....but the book is not so good. In fact, the book made be horrible. What do you do? Here are some helpful suggestions...
1. Go ahead and read the whole book from beginning to end. You can't judge a book by it's cover (or can you?), so wait and see if the ending is boffo or as lame as the rest. Think of how many terrible movies you've sat all the way through. The worse that can happen is you learn about yourself -- patience, critical thinking, analyzing, problem-solving.
2. Don't read it. The point of joining a book club is to have fun and participate and if reading is down-right painful, don't do it. There are plenty of ways to be present and positive without faking it. This isn't school. You can't flunk a book club.
3. We're adults. If someone becomes upset because someone else doesn't like their book selection, uh, time to take a chill pill. Remember, you can't please everyone all the time and so what? There's another opportunity to love the next book or the next one or...
4. State your case clearly and courteously. If you have good reasons to like something, make sure you have good reasons as to why you don't happen to like this one particular book selection, other than "I just don't like it...". The best way to discuss the book's weaknesses is to compare and contrast -- ideas, different books, different plots, personal experiences, etc. Esteemed Members are looking for a great discussion. Great drama is based on conflict and resolution. If everyone agreed all the time -- fast train to Dullsville. Agree to disagree and part friends.
Lastly, examine what your expectations and prejudices are. Dolce Vita di Libro is about learning, challenging yourself, and personal growth -- as well as enjoying the pleasure of life. Appreciating the efforts of others reflects your understanding of your own contributions to the world, because, in effect, even a failure is a form of success for having taken the risk to try at all.