Saturday, December 12, 2020

Reading Books Together

 In the spring, during the stay-at-home order, my sister chose four books and ordered copies for herself, my daughter, and a friend. She had the books shipped to their house, and, for the next several weeks, they read the books together and discussed them by email. (The books were Mrs. Buncle's Book, Emily of New Moon, The Little White Horse, and Parnessus on Wheels.

I was jealous. I struggled to read books this spring--maybe because of lack of concentration--and if I could do it over, I'd find a way to have a book club.

I've known for years that it is more fun to read books together. When I was a teen, I'd often purposely read the same books as my brother just so we could discuss them. A number of years ago, Ed and I enjoyed a book club with several friends from church. I still think of our energetic discussions when I remember the specific books we read those three years. 

For two summers I organized a teen book club for my daughter and her friends. The last time we chose books from a number of different cultures and then enjoyed Asian-inspired food which we ate on the floor. (The books were Words in the Dust, Inside Out and Back Again, and Homeless Bird.)

This fall, a friend from church asked if any of us would like to read and discuss Surviving the Tech Tsunami. I had enjoyed the book when I was studying the effects of technology, but it was even better to spend an evening discussing it with friends. The topic was intensely practical and the evening was part book club, part Bible study, part ladies-coffe-night, and part accountability. We enjoyed it so much that we chose another book to read and discuss in January.

At the end of each month, a friend emails a list of books that she read that month, along with brief review of each book. She shares this list with a small group of friends which prompts the rest of us to share the books we read that month. It is a simple habit, but one I've come to look forward to. I get many book recommendations and the process of sharing what I've read helps me to get more out of the book itself.

One of the things I miss most about Ed is our book discussions. So I've valued the opportunity to share books with others. If you are looking for ways to enhance your reading life, maybe one of these ideas will be right for you. And, of course, I'd love to hear of the ways you share books with others.

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