Now a popular literary blog, Middle Class Handbook, has laid down some written rules, highlighting the things to be avoided during literary discussions.
According to these rules, if you don’t want your literary club to die, you should specifically avoid reading classics that are more than 450 pages.
Not surprisingly, George Elliot’s Middletown tops the list of the books to be avoided according to these rules. According to the blog, Middletown happens to be ‘the death knell for a book club.
Other than this main rule, there is also warning against meandering group members, which means that members should not be asked to stick only to the material at hand and try nothing else.
The general trend of several such literary discussions is that the discussion usually diverts form narrative structure and character development into gossip and what’s on TV.
Some other guidelines in this regard include advice to stay away from over opinionated friends, keep the consumption of alcohol during the discussion at minimum level, and a pointed reminding host. Besides, the outspoken members in some cases have also found to be the cause of problems resulting in awkward scenarios such as secret meetings or downright end of the club.
The blog also says that adding some food to the discussions matching the theme of the discussion is also a good idea. Food is always good to elevate the spirits of a person and can considerably boast the overall effect on any discussion at hand.
However, alcohol consumption should be kept at minimum level, saying that “one more glass won’t hurt, but it’s easy to get carried away.”
Besides, film and television adaptations are also a turn off for literary discussions. To quote the blog, “The book club that drifts away from books towards discussions of Sean Bean is destined for failure.” Instead, the discussion should revolve around the theme and plot of the book.