A few months ago, I joined a book club. It’s part of my local library. They read very different books from what I would normally read, but I felt like I learned something new and liked the company.
Unfortunately, I got an email today that I found insulting. Of course, I know sometimes I’m easily offended. Therefore, I thought I would get other opinions.
Here’s a part of the email sent by a librarian:
“The book club is meant to be an outlet for group members to read new things and branch out from what they normally read and hopefully enjoy in the process. With that being said, I would like to remind everyone that this is a book discussion group and not a political group. Everyone has their own opinions and we hope that your opinion is about the book and leave politics elsewhere. Also, please be mindful of not dominating the discussion, we want to give everyone an opportunity to give their input. Thank you. Happy Reading!”
Now this was said after we read books including but not limited to: the IRA during the war (book 1), government agencies MI5 and MI6 during the 70s (book 2), and a mail order bride (legal but suspicious immigration-book 3). My group had to explain a few things to me for the first two books as I did not know a lot about those time periods. The third was more modern. How can there not be political discussion when this is what they pick to read? They’re political books! The last of which as been a HUGE issue in the last THREE presidential elections. That’s like saying “I don’t want to bring up vampires” while reading Twilight. Or “Lets skip the sex parts” in 50 Shades of Grey.
What’s worse is the new list STILL featuring these sorts of books.
Even more offensive is the inclusion of a book about a woman being brutally attacked. I don’t know how that would qualify as appropriate.
Also, the group members, excluding me, are retirees. With the maturity of the books–sex and violence, I would think anyone who had the above opinion (the email) would mention it during group instead of having the librarian (who was also in group) send an awkward email like a disappointed first grade teacher.
Moreover, with the almost unlimited book options in the world, I suggest picking different books! Political, Middle Eastern, and/or war books are not the only ones out there. There are books which are meant for literary discussion, and involve less controversial topics. Why not picks those? I didn’t pick these books! They did. I rarely read such vulgar and/or controversial stuff purposefully; I just wanted to be a part of a group. And they must know what’s in the book because one has to read it before recommending it. Plus, the descriptions make it clear given it is what the WHOLE book is about.
I don’t know what to do. I think I’ll be skipping a lot of these “discussions” in the future, which is sad because I liked it until now.