I have joined a book club for the first time, ever. And I’m having my doubts. I’m not sure I am a “good fit” for a book club. I like books that entertain me. I love a good mystery. A spy novel once in a while. I like a little romance in any book. So, I’m not sure I’m a “deep” enough reader to be a good fit for a book club.
Case in point — the first book we are reading is The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. It was an Oprah Winfrey book club selection several years ago, so it ought to be great, right? Well, I really have had trouble “getting into” this book. The books I usually read are ones that “grab” you right from the beginning — someone is murdered or an interesting situation is described — something just screams, “TURN THE NEXT PAGE TO SEE WHY THAT HAPPENED!”
This book is much slower paced in developing the two entertwining plots and the characters. And, frankly, I just wasn’t enjoying it.
But, over the weekend, I was talking to Gunny and told him about my first “book club” book. Now, Gunny is an avid reader. A little ironic, since we had trouble getting him started reading when he was a little kid. We even took him to a local university to have him tested to see why he couldn’t read. They said he could read, he just wasn’t interested!
So, Gunny certainly is the one to give advice about developing “interest” in a book. And, what he told me about is what he called “the tipping point,” i.e., the point in the book where you have learned enough about the plot and/or the characters to make you want to continue reading.
He said that when he was taking literature classes in college, he read some novels he would never have read if they hadn’t been required. But, surprisingly, some of them became favorites! The example he gave was Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegutt.
So, after our conversation, I went back to my book, prepared to read until I found “the tipping point” — and I found it at about page 30! And now I’m enjoying it.
Okay, so maybe I will stay in the book club, and maybe I will become a “deeper” reader. Because now that I know about “the tipping point,” I feel like even in a slow-starting book, there is something ahead to make me keep reading.
Am I the last one in the world to know about this “tipping point” thing?