Our literary Fight Club was forged over a couple of beers in the spring of 2006 as a vehicle for organized, intellectual discussion (or so we liked to tell ourselves). After laughing at Matt H. and calling him names like “sissy” we thought it might actually be a good idea. Like a book club, we would each read a book and meet to discuss it; however, like Chuck Palahniuk’s masterpiece Fight Club, our first and second rules would be : you DO NOT talk about Fight Club… you know, because what kind of men sit around discussing literature?!
The primary criterion regarding the books over which we would spar was that they be non-fiction. Over subsequent Fight Clubs, however, we came to realize that anything over 300 pages, requiring a thesaurus, or not having a solid review from a reputable source was pushing our personal tolerances, and have since implemented further restrictions. After all, what would a Fight Club be without rules?
Despite all the bluster, we simply seek knowledge and to read these books as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
To read well, that is, to read true books in true spirit, is a noble excercise, and one that will task the reader more than any excercise which the customs of the day esteem. It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object. Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.
Henry Thoreau, Walden