Becoming A Member: What I’ve Learned

Last fall, I did something I never expected to do. At the kind invitation of a former colleague and valued friend (who is one of our band’s biggest fans), I joined a book club. It is a diverse collection of experienced men who gather at one member’s house monthly for a lunch, a drink, and then discussion of that month’s selection. Despite my love of books, I have never considered myself social enough to join a club, but several months in, I am very glad I did. I’ve met some interesting nice people and get to see my friend more often this way. Best of all, I’m reading books I’m certain I never would have otherwise. This month’s selection is illustrative: we read Nabokov’s autobiography, Speak, Memory. I’d never read Nabokov, and after reading this, I’m not expecting to read much more. I found it dense and wordy, and the organization of the book seemed somewhat chaotic. As I studied it, though, I found a great deal of lyrical writing that was simply beautiful, and I very much enjoyed the obvious passion he had for finding and collecting butterflies. His description of young love was touching. Better, still, was listening to two club members discuss why they loved Nabokov, and what in this particular book spoke to them most clearly. It was educational and interesting, and I’m certain I never would have bothered to finish reading the book had I picked it up on my own. So, I’m socializing with new friends and learning from them and reading books that would likely have evaded me. The lunch and drinks are great, too. Do yourself a favor and find a group, whether it’s reading or something else. It’s good for you.

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