I could be wrong, but I still don’t think this Book Club is going to be a success. Choosing “The Female Persuasion” seems too focused for a company/nation-wide event. I have heard some people say that the choice to start the book club with “The Female Persuasion” is blatant pandering. One can almost hear the conversation that took place while choosing that book:

“We should do a book club event and make sure we can get at least one target audience involved, like women. They love books, book clubs, and talking.”

‘What book should we start with?’

“Something with the word ‘Women’ or ‘girl’ or that sort of thing in the title.”

‘Meg Wolitzer’s coming out with a new book, The Female Persuasion.’

“What’s it about?”

‘Feminism and stuff? I don’t know, I only read nonfiction.’

“Sounds perfect. Throw in a coupon and some free food and we’ll call it a day.”

For the stores that have people who signed up and are excited for the book club, it worked for you and I’m happy. I hope sales are good, turn out is great, and that the book club is a success. The book covers an important topic and speaks to those who connect with it pretty well, at least from the book reviews I skimmed online.

I haven’t heard much of anything for my store though. I don’t think we have any customers who care enough to go to a book club for a book that isn’t heavily established in pop culture. I have seen other stores have similar issues.

And who knows if this book is successful enough for them to make future book club choices just as targeted? Important topics and social issues are big things worth talking about, but I’d say that those issues are difficult things to talk about in groups. A lot of feelings are just beneath the surface with the issue of feminism and equal treatment and I hope things turn out well.

But will people in those specific demographics feel insulted or condescended to? Will they feel marginalized if we have book clubs for LGBTQ or Transgender audiences? Or will they welcome an event about it?

I really don’t know and I’m genuinely curious. What are your feelings about it all? Is it a bold move to focus on a topic like feminism and maybe focus on other specific “hot button” topics in the future? Do you feel pandered to? Even if it is pandering, is it okay because we’re finally talking about these things?

I made a silly comic to poke fun at a corporation’s attempt to be “With It” to sell a book, but as I was drawing it I really think it’s worth exploring. At the very least “The Female Persuasion” has got me thinking about these things.