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I Hated That Book!

It happens. Someone in your book group hated the assigned book and doesn't think it's even worthy of discussion. So the talk turns to soccer games and inexplicable spouses, teens, bosses, computers, etc.

But is liking the book even important?

Mickey Pearlman says “no.” She offers this sage advice in What to Read: The Essential Guide for Reading Group Members and Other Book Lovers:

Ban at the outset any discussion that focuses on, “Did you like the book?” This is not a popularity contest, and any worthwhile piece of fiction, no matter how beloved or detested, teaches the reader something. The real issue is the choice of what to read.

Years ago I was in a group and read two books written by a renowned author (I'll withhold the name even though he's deceased). I didn't like either story. But the group discussions were fascinating and stand out in my memory to this day. And so, my answer to the question “Is liking the book even important?” is a definite “no.”

That said, you probably don't want to read a lot of books you don't like. And that's the beauty of a theme book group, where members select their own titles according to a pre-determined subject. Everyone is happy.

Here’s a post I wrote about starting a theme group.

Try it. It may solve your group's book-hating problem.

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