My Books. My Life.

"Let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." ~Voltaire~

Books and the Good Life – Part 3 March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle @ 5:34 pm

I really was going to post this each day but the lack of a computer has really put a cramp in my internet style.  I get my laptop back today so hopefully I improve.  All you book club people will want to read this section – you're in it. 🙂

We read to
know we are not alone. 
~C.S. Lewis~
 

   Reading
can connect us to others.  It is usually a solitary activity, but
the ways it can lead us to interact with others are endless.  We
have book clubs, literature classes, and even friendships based on a
mutual love of reading.  Think of the coffee table book. 
We put it out to be a conversation starter.  We display our books
on shelves so that others can see them and ask us about them. 
Books really can bring people together.

   My
husband and I basically have a relationship based on books.  There
are obviously other parts to our marriage, but books are a big part
of it.  We live apart right now, and our nightly chats always include
an update on what we are reading.  If one of us finishes a good
book, we immediately nag the other to read it (and I am proud of my
record – I have yet to recommend him a book he hasn’t enjoyed). 
We even “race” to see who can read the most books in a given time
(he is winning overall, but I blame law school because I win the during
the summer breaks).

   About
a year ago, I joined an online book club.  I was searching for
a book list that the WB network had created for Rory Gilmore, a character
in the television show Gilmore Girls.  The list is a surprisingly
good collection of contemporary novels and classics and I was looking
for a new book to read.  When the WB site was closed, a few members
decided to open a new forum for Rory’s Book Club.  When I found
the list, I also found this forum and decided to join.  Now I cannot
imagine my reading life without it.

      There
are probably 30 or so of us who are regular members.  We log on
each day from our computers around the world and post about what we
are reading, what we want to read, what we just finished, and other
book related topics.  We get along amazingly well.  We are
similar in many ways.  Most of us are 20-something-year-old women,
well-educated, and fans of Gilmore Girls.  But we are also
all very different because we come from such diverse places.  I
was pleasantly surprised at how well the group works.  I think
it is our shared love of reading that makes the group a cohesive one. 
We have a general board, too, which is unrelated to books, but it turns
out that we get along on a variety of subjects.  The reading bond
is enough to make us a cohesive group despite our many differences. 
These are the nicest, friendliest message boards I have ever seen. 
No one is ever rude or mean.  It’s just a wonderful little niche
in the online world where people can discuss good books.


      
I
think it is wonderful that my love of reading has exposed me to this
new group of people.  I may not have ever actually “met” any
of them, but I feel that I have friends all over the world now and it
has made me a better person to know them.  I can learn about their
cultures and how they view the world.  It has certainly made me
less America-centric.  In this way, reading is not a solitary activity. 
It is a vehicle for new social contacts.  Without my passion for
reading, I would have never found these friends.  Reading can open
so many new doors just by the possibility of new discussions. 
I am constantly recommending books and having them recommended to me
both in my book club and with my “real” friends.  When a recommended
book is read (and enjoyed), it brings the two people together in a unique
way.  Readers love discovering other readers.  While reading
can be a form of escapism, it can also be a way to create and improve
relationships.

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5 Responses to “Books and the Good Life – Part 3”

  1. Kristie Says:

    Yay! I'm so glad you value/love the boards and us members enough to write about us in the paper 🙂 I'm very grateful for making friends around the world, too. It's a great experience…

  2. Michelle Says:

    I do love the boards so much more than I thought I would at first. I always feel lame when I discuss the book club with other people but I really do enjoy it. It might be my favorite place in all of internet land.

  3. Kristie Says:

    Haha, I feel sort of lame too. I think people are skeptical of online friendships lol Nick jokes about it, but I think that has more to do with the fact that it's a book club, not because it's online. I do like saying that, "Well, a friend of mine in Michigan/Australia/Italy/Holland…" lol

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Nick jokes about it, but I think that has more to do with the fact that it's a book club, not because it's online. I do like saying that It's the same with me. I love the board, and i've never had an online experience like it. Everyone is really nice.

  5. Lucia Says:

    I've started reading posts/your paper now and I think it's very good! I really like it.


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