Author J. A. Jance offers some thoughts on book clubs in this post from Seattle City Brights.
I've had some challenging situations with book clubs. Most of the time, I've been subjected to the type of comments that can most easily be summed up as follows: "Our book club doesn't read mysteries. . . although I'm sure yours are fine." How do you spell GRRR? In other words, "Our book club only reads IMPORTANT books or LITERARY FICTION," both of which I translate to mean the literary equivalent of Castor Oil. Maybe the books they read aren't fun or easy to swallow, but THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU! As I was typing that, I couldn't help but remember something the late, great Tony Hillerman said to me once: Literary fiction is where not much happens to people you don't like very much." To which I might add a heartfelt AMEN!
There's a genre for everyone, that's for sure. But what is all this venom toward literary fiction? There's no point in the wholesale snubbing of any one sort of book. What's that quote about, "For every book, a reader; for every reader, a book"?
The comments on the Jance post are interesting too. I have to agree with the reader who expresses disappointment with Jance and Hillerman for their total dismissal of literary fiction. Do we all have to set up opposing camps? That's pretty disheartening.