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Original article appears on www.tglong.com/blog
June 29, 2011


Articles in Emlyn's How to Start a Book Club Series include:
Do You Belong in a Book Club? Book Club Personality Quiz
Created By: Emlyn Chand, from the blog of Terri Giuliano Long


I love to read.

You probably do too, given that you’re reading an article about book clubs.

Let me ask you, gentle reader:  how many times have you read a book and felt the urgent need to discuss it with somebody else? For me, this happens about once per week whenever I finish my latest read. If not for my book club friends, I’d never have a chance to talk about any of them –my husband is just not interested in Irving’s depiction of Owen Meany as a Christ figure. Go figure…

Maybe you’re eager to join a club but aren’t sure where to find one. Perhaps you and your friends want to start a brand new club together. Or, you might consider the reading experience private and would rather not discuss every little detail of every single book you read with others. Touché.

Not sure what to think? Take a few moments to respond to the quiz below, and we’ll give you our honest assessment as to whether a book club is right for you.

Ready? Here goes:  

The Book Club Personality Quiz

1. You are at a restaurant and over hear a family having a rather loud conversation. You notice that one person frequently interrupts others to make her points. How does this make you feel?

A. I am annoyed by her clear lack of disrespect for her “loved ones” and can’t figure out why they’d put up with her

B. It doesn’t bother me. If that’s how she communicates, so be it. None of my business

C. I wonder why she doesn’t engage a more affective form of communication and think about what I would do differently

D. I assume this just must be the way the family interacts and that they’re probably having a good time out  

2. You have to make an important speech at an assembly in five minutes. What have you done to prepare?

A. I haven’t done much of anything. I’m nervous, real nervous. I’ll probably butcher the speech

B. I’ve thought of a set list of points I want to hit, gotten a good night’s sleep, and taken a deep breath

C. I’ve written a flawless speech, rehearsed it several times in front of the mirror and my family, purchased a new outfit, eaten a power breakfast – let’s do this

D. I’ve found a killer joke to begin the speech and plan on appealing to the audience’s emotions later in  

3. You are attending a group orientation for your new job. Everyone is new and doesn’t know what to expect. Midway through the training, you and the other participants are given a one hour lunch break. How do you proceed?

A. I head over to Panera by myself and try to get my mind off of work for a little while

B. I ask the person sitting next to me to grab a bite at the restaurant next door

C. I locate the new employees from my department and coordinate a group outing; we even do a carpool to the restaurant

D. I skip lunch and head to the bar. This orientation stuff is hard work, and I need to loosen up a bit  

4. Your child is given the chance to do an extra credit project for school. Completing the project could secure his A average, but it will require some work. How do you proceed?

A. I pass on the project. This assignment requires a lot of work, and perhaps our time would be better spent if devoted more to homework and other tasks we can’t avoid

B. I let my kid take the lead in the assignment and help him where he needs it. This is for his education, so it should be his responsibility. We finish the day before it’s due

C. What a great opportunity! Of course, we get started right away. Better to finish early than late, right? And there’s so much to do! I need to call the library, make a trip to the craft store

D. I invite my child’s friends and their parents over to the house, and we all do our projects side-by-side while gossiping about the teacher. Maybe the project doesn’t turn out completely amazing, but it’s good enough, and we had fun doing it  

5. It’s Thanksgiving and Uncle Todd’s political views are basically the polar opposite of your own. As soon as the turkey arrives, he makes a cutting, somewhat ignorant remark that sets your skin on fire. He glares at you, awaiting a response. What do you do?

A. I get up and leave. I’ll eat my turkey at the kid’s table. No need to deal with this crap on the holiday

B. Since he so clearly wants a response, I give it to him by intelligently and calmly stating my beliefs, hoping it won’t launch into a full-on debate

C. I can see the topic is making the rest of the family uncomfortable, so I redirect the conversation to something more holiday appropriate. If Uncle Todd wants to talk about this later when it’s just the two of us, I’m game

D. I roll my eyes, stuff my face with mashed potatoes, and top off my cranberry spritzer  


Quiz Results

If you got mostly A’s… A book club might not be the best thing for you. You enjoy reading but would rather spend time by yourself and don’t like the idea of having to do homework or meet deadlines. You may also have a hard time putting up with quarrelsome or disrespectful people, especially if they disagree with you on something.

If you got mostly B’s… You could really benefit from participation in a book club. Check out meetup.com, bookbundlz, or your local paper to find a club near you. It also doesn’t hurt to ask your friends if they know of any clubs looking for new members. You may also like this article that lays out the finer points of how to join a book club. Have fun!

If you got mostly C’s… Friend, you’re not just one to join a club, you’re leader material. Read my series on how to start a book club and set-up your own today. (See links in the left hand column of this page.)

If you got mostly D’s… A book club could be fun for you, but you’ll probably enjoy a club that is more free-flowing and fun. Find a club that is light and doesn’t take itself too seriously. One that incorporates a food or drink element could be perfect for you!


Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a writer of women’s fiction and YA. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). She also leads a book club that discusses classic literature and now boasts over 350 members. Her first novel, Farsighted, will be available late 2011. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook,Twitter, or GoodReads.


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