I am in a book group that doesn't read books over 250 pages. That's why we call it the Short Attention Span Book Club (SASBC). The group was started in 2012 by my friend Will Jones. We have been meeting every month since then and I have read over 50 books, which is probably 45 more books than i would have read on my own. Will is a former English teacher who loves literature. He started us off with a two-column list of possible books to read. We have expanded the list since then. One column of the list is classics and the other is contemporary titles. (Our current list is below). Some of the books have actually been longer than 250 pages, but not by much.
We have a core group of 12 people. Most of us are seniors. Almost all of us prefer print books to eBooks. We have had a couple of authors attend one of our meetings, and we have corresponded with other authors by email.
Here is part of an interview with Will Jones that was done for an article written about the SASBC by Tracee de Hahn for the online website Miss Demeanors (one of the 101 best websites for writers). You can read her whole article at https://www.missdemeanors.com/single-post/2017/05/24/Book-Clubs.
“We've had vibrant, rewarding email exchanges with three authors: Larry Watson (Montana 1948 and American Boy), William Giraldi (Hold the Dark), and Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins). Larry Watson acknowledged his debt to book clubs and wrote that our club name was the best he'd heard to that point. Two local authors, John Hampsey (Kaufman's Hill) and Franz Wisner (Honeymoon with My Brother) have attended meetings to discuss their books. We attended a Q&A with Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds) at Cuesta College, a local community college that had chosen The Yellow Birds as its book of the year. We all got to meet Kevin and have our copies signed by him.
“I keep updating our list of possible books to read. I recently added several to the classics column that were written between 1910 and 1920 because one club member has a habit of asking which books we're reading might still be well regarded in 100 years.
“We are a relatively homogenous group: college educated professional seniors, most either fully or partly retired. We rotate houses for our meetings, which start at 7:00 and usually end by 9:00 or 9:15. We have a great time, but there's very little idle chit chat. We spend a few minutes sharing 'what's up,' choosing future books to read, agreeing on date and location, and then we dive into our discussion."
The SASBC has given me a new and wonderful introduction to literature. Our discussions have been incredible; I always leave the meeting knowing more about the book and the author than I did when the meeting started.
Here is our current list of books. An x indicates it is a book we have read. (You can also download the pdf file if you like.)
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