Okay, so that was one part of this post. I love my library. I also love this book club. It's small, just a few women and one man (occasionally). I am the youngest person in the group, but it doesn't matter, we all share this love of books that crosses generations. We each suggest books and read one each month. I have a very different style of reading than most. For instance, I have suggested Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. These are a little off the wall compared to the more "traditional" book club choices of John Steinbeck and John Irving. I know it has opened my eyes to new authors and books that I wouldn't have chosen otherwise. I'd hope that I have done the same with my book choices.
This town is a very traditional town, very conservative, very homogeneous. What I love about book club is that it provides a place to talk about all sorts of different issues, even hot topic issues, from both sides without fear of backlash. The whole point is to think outside of your own head and your own opinions. It's surprising how many people have "hidden" views that you wouldn't expect, definitely lending credence to the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover". Hmm, okay I don't mean this in a bad way At ALL and it kind of sounds like. I just mean that some people look super duper conservative, maybe even harsh, and they aren't, they have a much wider viewpoint than you might think.
If you love to read, I highly recommend a book club. It's great. It's fun. It's nice to get out and talk to like minded people since my husband just doesn't have any interest in reading.