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Book Clubs Were Always About Drinking and Socializing

Book Clubs Were Always About Drinking and Socializing

Even in the 1700s, Book Clubs Were Really About Drinking and Socializing

And “a considerable element of boisterous good humor.”

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/1700s-book-clubs-drinking-socializing

IN THEORY, BOOK CLUBS ARE supposed to be about reading and discussing books. In practice, they are often more about hanging out with a group of people, drinking, gossiping, and generally having a nice evening. Depending on the percentage of the group that has actually read the book, it may be discussed, or it may not. The book is the excuse, not necessarily the point.

It turns out it’s always been this way.

Ever since the advent of book clubs in 18th-century England, when books were scarce and expensive, these organizations have been about more than reading. Book clubs were organized to help members gain access to reading material and to provide a forum for discussion of books the club held. But they were also about gossip and drinking. As the University of St. Andrews’ David Allan writes in A Nation of Readers, “In most cases, food and alcohol in copious quantities, accompanied we may suspect by a considerable element of boisterous good humour, played an important part in the life of the book clubs.””

Stephen

 

 

 

 

Posted on: July 9, 2017, 6:50 am Category: Uncategorized