We’ve got a bit of a repeat Year of Fun adventure today, but only in that I went to another book club earlier this year, but that was (1) ages ago and (2) a very different type of event.
What made this particular book club different is… that it was at someone’s house. Which is definitely a push for many introverts – rocking up at a virtual strangers house, in order to not only discuss a rather meaty book with them and their other high-brow friends, but also to dine with them – and not make a fool of one’s self.
So as you can imagine, I was pretty apprehensive about this. Thankfully, I had a fellow introvert to drag along, so I wasn’t going alone. I will note that we’ll be doing a much much more in-depth podcast about this event on my other podcast, The Seeker and the Skeptic.
I don’t have a release date for that episode just yet, but if you listen to the kind of stuff we’ve been doing so far, and like it, then by all means subscribe, and you’ll get to hear the full low-down on the juicier aspects of the book we discussed, which was Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life.
I’m going to focus on the atmosphere, the facilitation, the introvert-friendliness and of course the FUN of this event in this podcast. So, the first check box was how prepared I felt going for the first time. I was invited by an existing book club member, and had had some email back and forth with the host, John, a fellow introvert!
As an ISTJ, it’s no surprise that he paid great attention to detail in making sure we were prepared, sending over questions we’d discuss in advance as well as an incredibly detailed summary of the book itself – so if you hadn’t managed to read it, I reckon you could still have a really valuable evening.
I also understood the running order, and all round felt very prepared going in. And I don’t know about you, but that’s super important to this introvert. So if you ever feel extra nervous before going to an event, don’t hesitate to ask for more information from the host. Luckily with John, I didn’t have to.
So myself and Rebecca were a smidgen early, but we were warmly welcomed by John and his lovely wife, we chatted about books – including one of my favourites, The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin – and sipped wine.
The other guests started to trickle in, and I was pleasantly surprised I knew 4/5 of them! I guess I’ve done more networking in Brighton in the two years I’ve been here than I thought…
We sat down, plates loaded with delicious homemade lasagne, and started going through the questions. Again, this was all very civilised. Despite the book and moreover the author, old JBP, being somewhat controversial, we kept the peace. There were differing views sure, differing personality types (though nearly all of us were introverts) and everyone joined in.
I was a bit… awkward at times. I felt like my understanding of what Peterson is saying is a little more abstract than others, and that might come from me diving deeper into his overall work than some others had. But anyway, it gave me a lot to think about and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I didn’t assume anyone was thinking I was saying anything totally stupid, and I felt like I could pipe up when I wanted.
I think part of this is down to my own passion for the subject, my own practise of talking in group environments (which does NOT come naturally to me) and John’s excellent ability to facilitate a group and keep a lovely, safe environment.
This had basically everything: challenge, entertainment, friends, dessert… it only lost points for me being my awkward self.
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