Wednesday 21 March 2018

On sober reflection, perhaps joining a wine-soaked book club isn't for me

Not a book in sight: Often it’s more about the wine, cheese and chatting
Not a book in sight: Often it’s more about the wine, cheese and chatting

Siobhan O'Connor

Giving up the booze and chocolate for January left me with more free time than I'm used to. So, I decided to become more intellectual and join a book club. This was going to secure my credibility as a bastion of culture and a powerhouse of knowledge on award-winning literature. Could you imagine quoting lines from the legendary French chick Simone de Beauvoir and actually knowing what you were talking about?

Well anyway, it all seemed like a fabulous idea until I started my research. Book clubs are code for "wine appreciation societies", says my male friend who has witnessed his partner attending one for the best part of 10 years. "To be honest, when it's my girl's turn to host her book club night I scarper, because it's just an excuse for the gals to gorge themselves on fat bottom chips, dips and nibbles. The reality is most book clubs are a mixture of singletons, some engaged, some with oodles of kids, but they all bring a bottle to the book party."

Is this sentiment true of all book clubs? I felt dejected, wanting my cloudy December to be a distant memory as I leapt into 2014, wine free and full of clarity. So really are book clubs just another excuse to hit the bottle? "Quite frankly you don't even have to read the book, sure it's just another girly night out," concedes my mate all knowingly.

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