I have only ever been in one reading group. It was several years ago and the group only read books on one theme: football. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it was a select group – just me and a couple of mates. The premise was fairly standard; read a different book about football each month.
It wasn’t as difficult to find books as you might expect. It wasn’t as boring as some of you might expect, either. Beyond the ghostwritten autobiographies and first person accounts of hardcore hooliganism, there’s a surprisingly excellent range of football books.
Saying that, however, the first book we read was Steve Claridge’s autobiography – a tedious tale of gambling, crap cars and rubbish performances for rubbish clubs. I refused to read the chapter on Birmingham City, which other members of the group said was ridiculous. But I have my standards.
The group lasted for a year-or-so before we ran out of ideas. There are only so many socio-economic accounts about the history of German football worth reading. Well one, actually: ‘tor!’.
In fact, the group split for good when one member suggested branching into cricket. I was vehement that I hadn’t joined a football reading group to read books about cricket. And that was that. But maybe it’s time for a re-start?