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What's in a Name?

Reading Groups Choose Creative Ways to Describe Themselves

It’s not surprising that words are important to book group members.  Readers search for just the right word to describe how they feel, what they see and experience, what they might like to experience or feel, and what they abhor.  They marvel at their favorite authors’ ability to put words together in a way that evokes deep emotions, both positive and negative.  They appreciate and choose words for their meaning, of course, but also for their sound, their nuances, their derivations, and their double meanings.

So it’s probably not surprising that book groups put considerable effort and creativity into selecting the words to describe themselves.  The names that they choose somehow reflect the character of the group as a whole, which may be quite different from the words that each member would choose to describe themselves.

Take, for example, the groups that obviously intensely enjoy the reading group experience.  A sample of group names from Reading Group Choices subscribers include the Better Than Therapy Book Club;  Reading Between the Wines;  Who Picked This Book? Club;  Chapter Chat;  Friends, Wines & Books;  Face2Face and Woman2Woman;  Boisterous Banter Book Club;  Wine, Chocolate & Books;  It’s Not Just About the Food Book Club;  and Beyond the Book.

Apparently, some groups just like to have fun – and that includes taking the time to name themselves.  For example, there are the Marmaladies;  the Litwits;  the Chapter Chicks;  the Alleycats;  the Bookworm Biddies;  the Literal Hotties;  Out on a Tangent;  the Literary Lofty Dogs;  the Happy Bookers;  Girlz R Us;  the Deadly Divas;  and the Bemused Bibliophiles.

And then there are the groups that take on their own identity – comprised of, but beyond, the identity of the individuals within it.  The names tell you a lot about the character of the group – the Benson Bifocals;  Book Broads and John;  the Amigos & Flamingos Book Club;  the Book Club for People Who May Not Be Women;  Cool Girls Read;  Soul Sistas;  Readers Dozen;  the Crazy Eight;  the Eclectics;  English Teacher Nerds Unite;  Party Girls;  Smarty Pants;  Bad Girls Book Club;  Babes with Books;  Soccer Moms Book Club;  Peppy Ladies;  Sweet Potato Queens;  Sisters n Touch;  YaYa Mommas;  Women of Substance;  the Dirty Girls Book Group;  Reading for Christ;  the Renaissance Men’s Book Club;  and the Bamamas.

Some groups express their appreciation for the written word in the name they choose, such as the B.A.G. Ladies (Books Are Good);  the Rabid Readers;  Readers Delight;  Berthoud Book Junkies; and As the Page Turns.  And some actually play with words within their name, like the Literary Locusts of Lochmere;  the Louisiana Literati;  Secret Sworn Sisters;  WOW (Women of Words);  Women, Wine & Words;  StatIS Quo;  and Laughter, Lunch & Literature.  Other groups apparently really like the reading experience, like the Spine Crackers;  the Joyful Page Turners;  Between the Covers;  and the Cranial Crunch.

A few groups are literally literary, like the AlaKaye Literary Society;  the Bellaggio Cultural Club;  the Final Word Literary Guild;  the Grand Dames of Literature;  La Literati;  the Literary Ladies;  Joie de Livre – and perhaps Barely Literate.

Some groups are not so obvious about their meaning, leading one to wonder exactly what they are up to!  Take for example, the C.H.A.R.I.S.M.A.;  the FAUSA;  the R.A.F.T.S.;  the SLTSBC;  the StARs;  the KIBBIES;  and the TWOGHIES.

But some groups leave no doubt what they are up to.  Whether you approve or not, there are the Bath Tub Readers, for example, Andy’s Wives;  and the Read Naked groups.  You can also guess what goes on during the gatherings at Just Mai Tai’n;  Literate Epicureans;  the Martini Book Club;  Mysteries on Main Street;  Fiction Addiction;  Not Just Desserts;  Read and Feed;  Page and Palette;  Literary Potluck;  Coffee by the Book;  and Tea and Tales.

Some groups may use their name to remind themselves of when or where they meet.  For example, the BLT Club’s expanded name is Books Last Tuesday.  Then there is the Bar and a Book group;  the Gazebo Gathering;  Booked for Lunch;  MysticMommas;  Phat Tuesdays;  See You Tuesday?;  the Fort Dix Chicks;  Books on the Bluff;  Books By the Bay;  Beach and Books;  and the Rural Readers.  In some cases, though, the mnemonic device may lead to some confusion – consider for example Reading in the Rafters, Across the Ocean, and The Red Truck!

For those of you who may be forming new groups, perhaps there are some ideas here that can lead you to the perfect name.  For those – and there are many, we’re sure – who have other creative descriptive devices, please send them to us.  We’ll publish a few of them in an upcoming e-newsletter.  In any case, thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive.

Copyright © Reading Group Choices

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