By Amy Dickinson
An "Ask Amy" question in the Los Angeles Times tackled a tricky book club dilemma: "Dear Amy: I have a neighbor who is part of our book group. She doesn't often come to the meetings, but she has used our e-mail addresses to promote her and her husband's businesses and a student-exchange program. I only e-mail my neighbors about the next meeting. I am uncomfortable about this and would like to address the issue with her. Any suggestions?" —Concerned
Dear Concerned: In such situations, ask oneself, "What would Jane Austen do?" An Austen character would no doubt dispatch this issue with her customary rapier wit, all the while creating something of a commotion, which would be nicely and neatly resolved in about 200 pages. Receiving a few group e-mails sounds tolerable to me, though it's obvious you don't like it. Bring them up at your next book club meeting. If there is a consensus within your group, send your neighbor a group-generated e-mail reminding her that these are private e-mail addresses, not to be used for sales purposes. Otherwise, if you are on your own in objecting to this, reply to your neighbor yourself, asking her to please remove your e-mail address from her group e-mails. And keep it simple.”
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