It has been much talked about and finally it's been done. I've started a book club with 4 friends. You know how it works: you read a book, make a date, gather at a wine bar and discuss in a very grown-up fashion the contents of the nominated text. All very straight-forward. Or so I thought. However, there is peril at every turn here. Choose a book that's too lightweight and you risk being branded an idiot. Aim too high-brow and you're a wanker. Go the middle ground and you're just too predictable.
Then there's the angst of 'jumping the shark'. Have all your incredibly smart and literate friends already read the very clever tome you're putting up as the next target? This is an anxiety reserved specifically for Book Club.
But it doesn't stop there. I also get a little worked up over how fast everyone reads. One of the Book Clubbers snorted that she hadn't even started the novel we were to be discussing in 3 short weeks' time. What! While I've been religiously reading my 10 pages a night so as to arrive at the conclusion just in time for the meeting, this anti-swat has devoured another 3 or 4 books and will "just read it in one sitting" on the weekend.
Some might say this flies in the face of what Book Club is all about - the pleasure of reading and re-reading each sentence at a leisurely pace, taking in every nuance and grasping every plot line.
Regardless, it's my turn to choose the next book, and I'm getting in early because who knows how fast these conches read and what's currently stacked beside their beds.
So, I'm off, I need to get reading. This is my reputation at stake here! And as we all know, the appearance of success is a great competitive advantage.