Who Says Reading’s On the Decline? Not in Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

Last week my mother-daughter book club celebrated its fourth year together with a Cinco de Mayo party followed by a discussion of our book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. Our hostess brought out her Partridge Family album and played it for the moms, many of whom had teenage crushes on David Cassidy (yes, me too!). We got crazy singing along and talking about our 13-year-old selves back in the day, which was quite embarrassing for our daughters.

But then we settled down to talk about the book. We talked about the fun of reading mysteries and discussed the main characters—Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell—and we talked about things we liked and didn’t like about the plot.

As I looked around at the girls and moms sitting in the circle talking, I was reminded of a study released last year by the National Endowment of the Arts, which says reading is on the decline. I thought, “thank goodness my family isn’t a part of that.” Yes, my girls love to read and maybe they would be avid readers anyway. Their dad and I always have a stack of books we’re working our way through and as parents, we have always encouraged them to read books.

Even so, I believe being in a mother-daughter book club has helped us keep reading cool, even when Madeleine and Catherine might have been tempted to let it fall by the wayside as their other time commitments ramped up. And the friendships they’ve developed there have become some of the most important ones in their lives. I can say the same is true for me.

I’m happy to be a trend-reverser, and I look forward to the day a study finds I’m right in the middle of the upswing in readers everywhere.


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