Have you ever read a book you couldn’t stop talking about…for all the wrong reasons? Or a book so bad, it’s actually good? If you answered yes to either of the above, there’s a group for you. H Street book shop Solid State Books hosts a club dedicated to the texts that made you cringe—including the books you couldn’t bear to finish.
The club’s origin story starts with a conversation between Solid State employees Kiara Martinez and Nissa Moody. The pair had a realization while discussing movies they hate: “We were like, ‘it would be so good if there was a club where we could talk about books that are bad in the way that movies are bad, like a Twilight situation,’ ” says Martinez.
And with that, the Bad Book Club was born in September.
Unlike a typical book club, there’s never an assigned reading. “We just want to create a space for people to be able to talk about the books they’re reading that they’re not necessarily fond of,” says Martinez. Frequently discussed texts include romance novels by authors Elin Hilderbrand and Colleen Hoover. (Last year, Hoover’s books outsold the Bible.) Recently, Martinez aired her disdain for Nicola Yoon’s Instructions for Dancing.
A common theme emerging in the discourse? Taste varies. At a recent meeting, the dispute centered around author Sarah J. Maas’s fantasy novels. Some participants lampooned the books, while others voiced their support. “It wasn’t a moment to change anyone’s mind,” says Martinez. “[It was] more so a moment to hear their opinions and ultimately come to terms to agree to disagree.”
The club’s next meeting is on Monday, March 20, from 6 to 8 PM at Solid State Books. Subsequent meetings will take place four times a year on the third Monday of a month.