Welcome to the Book Nerd’s Guide to Life! Every other week, we convene in this safe place to discuss the unique challenges of life for people whose noses are always wedged in books. For past guides, click here.
Sunday is Mother’s Day—you know, the one day of the year you show your mother you care? I’m kidding. We all know that should be every day, unless you’ve got more of a Hamlet-Gertrude situation going on at home. Hopefully, you’ve got your mom an excellent gift already, or have a day of fun planned for her. If you don’t (or even if you do), might I suggest an out of the box idea to show your materfamilias how much you care? Start a mother-daughter book club.
Maybe you just suppressed a shudder at the thought. This isn’t your first rodeo. Every failed book club of your life is flashing before your eyes. But this isn’t just any old club, this is a mother-daughter bonding experience beyond all others. If your mom loves books half as much as you do, what’s to be concerned about? But if you need further persuasion, let’s outline the pros and cons.
Reasons to Start a Book Club With Your Mother
1. You’ve given her an adult coloring book for the last four gift-giving occasions, and it’s possible you might have exhausted that resource.
2. She’s the person who took you to the library for the first time and indulged you all those hundreds of thousands of times you checked out The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Who could better understand your reading tastes?
3. As the bumper sticker on her car has proudly announced since you made the National Honor Society, your mom thinks you’re just the smartest, and she’s bound to find your thoughts on any book insightful.
4. A little math for you: book clubs = wine time. Wine + Mom = Unlimited Possibilities.
5. It’s cheaper than getting matching tattoos.
6. At least she’s likely to show up to the danged thing.
Alternately, Reasons Not to Start a Book Club With Your Mother
1. Depending on how freewheeling your mom is (or isn’t), the book selection could be somewhat limited. If you and yours want to read Harlequin romance novels together, more power to you, but most of us can’t even watch Game of Thrones with the people who raised us.
2. Biographies, bildungsromans, and stories about dysfunctional families are apt to arouse memories of embarrassing childhood memories, and your mom probably has photos—in her purse.
3. Your genre tastes might differ. You could reach an impasse when you won’t touch a cozy mystery and she won’t concede graphic novels are “real” books.
4. Getting stood up by your mom at a book club would be a scarring experience.
Overall, I’d say the ayes have it, unless you just enjoy being the underachieving child. Fine, go ahead. Let your sister steal the glory again this year. But don’t come crying to me when she inherits the familial first editions.