Yesterday I talked about going into detail this week about the benefits of being in a mother-daughter book club. I wasn’t focused on these benefits when I started my own clubs eight and five years ago, but I definitely believe knowing them can convince others to start new mother-daughter book clubs. In my guidebook, Book by Book, I quote many moms in book clubs around the country and each has her own take about what she sees as being the most important reason she loves being in her book club. I found that many of these reasons can be grouped together in broader categories, and I’ve whittled those down to three. Today I’ll talk about the first one.
Reason #1 to be in a mother-daughter book club—It allows you to maintain a close relationship with your daughter. This is a big one, not only in importance, but in ways the benefits come out. When you spend time reading together, or reading separately but talking about the book before you attend book club, you carve out special time just for the two of you in your family. You say to your daughter, “Spending time with you is important to me, and I’m willing to get rid of all the distractions of daily life to focus on this right now.” You know what I mean about the distractions of daily life. Getting home from work, doing laundry, cooking dinner, driving to kids’ activities, keeping up with household paperwork. There is truly no end to the mundane tasks that can dominate a day and pull your attention away from true conversation.
I’m as guilty as anyone of only half listening sometimes as my daughters talk about their school days or homework or other things on their minds. And I know my daughters tune me out sometimes when I’m talking to them too. But I find that when we set aside time for our book, we both focus on each other. And that leads to conversation about issues that come up in the books. Which leads to conversations about issues they are dealing with themselves or that one of their friends has experienced.
I have found out so much about my daughters and their lives while discussing book club books. And it’s not always serious. Sometimes we laugh so hard at the words we’re reading that we have to put the book down until we recover. Sometimes we look things up that we read about so we can learn more about a topic. Sometimes we’re inspired to read more books by the same author. And sometimes we just agree that we don’t much care for what we’re reading.
Does this mean we have a perfect relationship with no arguments and in-depth conversations when we want them? That’s too much of a fairy tale story. But I do believe that the years we have spent in book club has given us so many great shared experiences that we are closer than we may otherwise be.