Andy and I recently had our first book club experience and it was amazing!
The wonderful thing about book clubs is that they are most often held in private homes, with a small group of attentive readers, there's food and drink, and no need to "perform" as with a public reading. The meeting is held primarily to discuss the book with readers who have already read it, who are discriminating and intelligent and have interesting questions. We even sold nine additional books to members who already had their own copies and wanted to share the book with others.
It was so amazing to see this articulate group of interested readers sitting there with their books all marked and tabbed and highlighted. I think they remembered more about the book than I did. And several members had marked specific passages where a quote or a lesson or even just a simple observation had come to them at the perfect time to help them through some difficulty in their lives. What could be better? This is why I write. This makes all those long hours at the keyboard worthwhile.
I feel so grateful to readers, strangers who voluntarily give me approximately 8 hours of their lives, attending to words on the page--words that I've written. Then they take the words into their minds and hearts and make the book into an experience that speaks to them alone. They finish my book. Did I mention that it's amazing?