Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Asisine and the Book Club

There's a mildly amusing article in The New York Times entitled "Fought Over Any Good Books Lately?" It essentially outlines all of my own reasons for hesitating to join a book club. What stuck out for me, however, was that the first woman quoted in the article comes across as incredibly pompous and obnoxious: "'It was bad enough that they wanted to read Da Vinci Code in the first place,' Ms. Bowie said, 'but then they wanted to talk about it.' She quit shortly after, making up a polite excuse: 'I told the organizer, "You’re reading fiction, and I’m reading history right now."'"

While I can entirely relate to Ms. Bowie's views on Dan Brown's "writing," I'm not sure that she has much room to complain about the book club's reading list when one considers her own motivation for joining the club in the first place: "'I was hoping to network with all these women in upper-level jobs at I.U., then I found they were in the book group,' she said. 'I thought, "Great! They’ll see how wonderful I am, and we’ll have these great conversations about books."'" She didn't join because she wanted to read new books and expand her own horizons. Instead, she wanted to impress other people by showing how great she was so that she could then use those people as connections in other aspects of her life. Well, she was certainly "wonderful"--she was so wonderful she didn't fit in and didn't get to network after all.

That's so ironic.

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