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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Men's Book Club, Anyone?

What do you think contributes to book clubs attracting more women than men? This is something that puzzles me because, in my experience, there is not a wide discrepancy vis-a-vis the amount of reading each gender does. Is that consistent with your experience?

In both of the clubs I currently belong to, I am one of two regular men that attends each; the first club (much larger than the other) on rare occasion has had a 3rd man. And, both of the "regular" men come with their wives. I am very welcomed at both clubs, my participation is sincerely solicited, and only once have I been asked to speak for my gender; I politely declined. Although I don't feel uncomfortable being in such a noticeable  minority, I leave each meeting wondering why this is so. In my case, it's even more puzzling because most of the books selected by both clubs have not been stereotypical "book club type" books like "The Help" or books that Oprah Winfrey might pick for her audience. I say this only to illustrate why the gender disparity for my clubs is odd to me not out of any disrespect or snobbery - I've read and greatly enjoyed many Oprah book club selections. 

My wife has continually suggested to me I should start my own book club for men. I (sort of) like the idea but wonder: Would anyone show up? 

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