FAQ > The House At Riverton : The Shifting Fog > As an author, what’s your take on the reading group phenomenon, and why do you think your book holds such appeal to them?
I think reading groups give people the opportunity to do what booklovers enjoy more than anything else: first, to read books; second, to discuss, argue and enthuse about books. Reading is a solitary activity, but reading groups turn it into a shared experience. When I finished reading Ian McEwan’s Atonement, no one I knew had read it. I was so desperate to speak to someone else who was privy to its wonderful, unexpected conclusion, that I ran straight up the road to my local book store so I could rave with the owner. That’s the spirit that informs reading groups: reading is one of life’s great pleasures, talking about books keeps their worlds alive for longer.
I think reading groups like to read books that make them think, but not at the expense of a strong story. Life is too short to read books whose cleverness makes them impenetrable. A good book should keep you awake at night, flicking through the pages as you promise yourself just one more chapter: they shouldn’t put you to sleep as you tackle a paragraph for the fifth time.
Last updated on December 21, 2009 by Kate Morton