It's nice to know my experience with book clubs has historical precedent. May the circle be unbroken, though not the empty bottle.
Even in the 1700s, Book Clubs Were Really About Drinking and Socializing, by Sarah Laskow (Atlas Obscura)
And “a considerable element of boisterous good humor.”
IN THEORY, BOOK CLUBS ARE supposed to be about reading and discussing books. In practice, they are often more about hanging out with a group of people, drinking, gossiping, and generally having a nice evening. Depending on the percentage of the group that has actually read the book, it may be discussed, or it may not. The book is the excuse, not necessarily the point.
It turns out it’s always been this way.