Columns > Published on April 28th, 2016

11 Chumptastic Reasons That Book Clubs Are For Chumps

1. You Never Get A Cool ID Card When You Join A Book Club

It took like 10 seconds to make this:

Okay, it's not exactly high quality. And Bill Clinton is the signer, but hey, why in the hell don't you get a rad I.D. when you join a book club? How is that not a thing?

2. Wine is Vile Poison*

I gotta read these pages by tomorrow or else these other jerkoffs in my book club will know I'm lazy and stupid. I AM lazy and stupid, but I don't need everyone else to know that and be able to prove it factually.

Wine is a total book club mainstay, and it's total garbage. There are three liquids you should put in your body: Water (because it's for survival), Coffee (because it's delicious), and bourbon (because it's delicious AND for (emotional) survival). Wine is shit. And don't even get me started on tea. Why would I drink something that's made with the primary ingredient being a sack of hot, wet garbage you dip in and out of hot water while holding a dainty string? Did the Boston Tea Party mean NOTHING to you? Does America mean NOTHING? Get it together, book clubs.

3. Your Horizons Won't Expand**

It's what everyone says. Oooh, this book club will expand my horizons.

What do people even mean by that? "Expand your horizons." What a bunch of happy horseshit. The only horizon you're expanding in a book club is the horizon that shows you how many terrible books are out there. That horizon, my friends, is infinite.

4. It Seems Like It's Always "That Person's" Turn To Pick

There are always members who, rather than picking something good, want to inflict something on the group. Oftentimes, these people seem to pick memoirs by children. Most of the time these children supposedly spent a bit of time in heaven. And none of the time do these children reveal anything cool, like saying that heaven is pretty much a carbon copy of old Vegas or that heaven uses pneumatic bank tubes all over the place.

Big deal. I almost died like 10 times today. I'm a terrible driver. You don't see me writing books about it.

The only thing that pulls you through the stupid book is waiting to eviscerate it with your friends, which is totally unsatisfying because, guaranteed, the person who recommended this stupid book about this jerk kid who almost died won't be at the meeting.

5. When You Slide A Book Into The Rotation, The Other Members Tear Down Your Favorites With Their Stupid, Jackass Opinions

There are things that are matters of opinion, and the books I like being awesome are not. The books I like are awesome. If I want someone to tell me that my opinions are wrong and dumb, I'll turn to my REAL friend, which is all of the internet.

6. Can You Really Not Decide What To Read For Yourself?***

I have like a thousand books on my to-read list. And none of them are by Toni Morrison. Okay, one of them is. Okay, two. But I'll read them when I damn well want. Do you want to dress me too? Tell me which order things should be put on? Yes, the conventional wisdom is underwear before pants, but you know what? I didn't survive to adulthood just to be told what to do all the goddamn time. And yes, I'm aware that my underpants have massive holes in the crotch. 

7. The First Part Of Every Meeting Goes Like This:****

Person A: So, what did everyone think of the book?

Person B: I only read the first 25 pages, so don't spoil anything for me.

Person C: Ugh, god, enough talk about the book. Here are pictures from my vacation.  

Person D: I didn't get the book because it didn't come in at the library, and I'm not going to buy it on Kindle. $9.99? Ridiculous. But hold on, let me get my iPhone out of my expensive bag and make sure it's synched up with my iPad so when I get home one of the 5 services I use to stream movies is primed and ready to go. And I need to call a plumber because we were trying to flush hundos down the toilet and it got clogged.

Person E: I'm really only interested in talking about the ending. So...

8. Grownups Don't Need Homework

And that's what a book club becomes. Grownup homework. I gotta read these pages by tomorrow or else these other jerkoffs in my book club will know I'm lazy and stupid. I AM lazy and stupid, but I don't need everyone else to know that and be able to prove it factually. 

9. Book Clubs Never Read John Swartzwelder Books

How can you go wrong with a book that starts like this:

As my exciting story began I was being punched in the stomach.

10. The Last Part Of Every Meeting Is Like This:*****

Person A: What should we read for next time?

Person B: I think we should read this 3,000 page tome. That's only like 100 pages per day.

Person C: I'd really like to dive into the classics. I find it much easier to struggle through the excruciating detail of classics when I know someone else is being tortured by them as well.

Person D: I think we should each propose a book and vote. [tallies votes] Oh, c'mon. Everyone voted for their own book?

Person E: We should read this one book that I read like 8 years ago. I remember it being funny and won't read it again, but I'm sure you all would probably like it 50%.

11. Nobody Ever Asks Me To Be In Their Book Club

I guess there might be ways to have fun at a thing where I'm not there, but I doubt it. And I've never heard of these fancy, stupid ways. Therefore, those ways are either stupid or nonexistent.

Your move, book club chumps.


*LitReactor's official book club is online, so it's BYO(EBO)B. Bring Your Own Entire Bottle of Bourbon.
**LitReactor's book club gets you reading some pretty rad stuff.
***No, you can't decide what to read for yourself. That's why there are 5 books on your nightstand. 
****In LitReactor's book club, there is no real "first" part. Online discussions just start and meander and keep going. 
*****Ditto last part.

Basically, everything I said does not apply to this one, awesome book club. And I'm not saying that because they pay me. I'm saying that because they pay me HANDSOMELY.

About the author

Peter Derk lives, writes, and works in Colorado. Buy him a drink and he'll talk books all day.  Buy him two and he'll be happy to tell you about the horrors of being responsible for a public restroom.

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