Ladies, quiet down and listen up. Before we get started, I have a few house rules.

The first rule of Book Club is you do not talk about the book.

Yes, we did finish paint the kitchen walls white since you were last here. Super easy upkeep. Do you all want a house tour before we sit down with the book? Don’t judge the mess.

Second rule of book club: The first person to admit they didn’t read the book taps out and may open the wine. Watching the movie doesn’t count as reading the book. Neither does reading the first and final chapters.

Third rule: One book at a time, ladies. We don’t choose the next book until the end of the night, but keep in mind that we don’t read airport trash—we all have college degrees—and we also won’t consider anything too esoteric. No more civil war treatises, Ellen.

The fourth rule of book club: Keep it classy. No spilling red wine on the white carpet, the white walls or the white kitchen island. Downstairs bathrooms only. I didn’t have time to clean the upstairs. The napkins with sassy wine-related quips are here for a reason. Use them.

Who needs another pour? Wine is empowering. The book was loosely about the meaning of life and love. Should we try to crack those tonight? Remember, no talking about the book itself. Linda, tell us, what’s the middle-age dating scene like on Tinder?

Here, have another glass. The fifth, unspoken rule of book club: I want you to feel vaguely embarrassed about what you shared tonight when you run into these people on your neighborhood walk. Last month’s book club on Little Woman made it hard to look Kathy’s husband in the eye.

If my husband walks in, follow rule six and discuss the final question in the reader’s guide. I’m sick of the teasing that this book club is an excuse to drink. There’s beer in the fridge if anyone doesn’t like wine.

And the sixth and final rule of book club: If this is your first time at book club, come having read the book.


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