I’d spend all day every day devouring books if I could find a way to monetize my habit.
Even with all that, I’m *still* the one scrambling, day of book club meeting (hello undergrad flashbacks!), to finish what we’re discussing.
It’s not I don’t want to read, it’s not even I’m too busy, it’s the fact I’m always reading 5 books simultaneously and am incapable of properly dividing my time.
Invariably I get sucked into a different tome right when I should be prioritizing our club’s selection.
While I feel zero guilt over not finishing, I do feel disappointed (crap, now I have nothing to contribute) and tempted to skip (in effort to avoid spoilers–I always read even if not on time).
In summation, no matter how I wish to be otherwise, I’m a book club member disaster.
Flash backward to last weekend when a neighbor dropped by as I was settling in to read.
hiding and not answering the door letting her know I was busy, I invited her to go home, grab a book and join me.
And an idea was born:
The concept of a solitary reading club.
We were doing a solo activity, yet we were still doing it together (which reminded me of Nick Hornby’s book About A Boy and its SPAT group).
We read in companionable silence for an hour, we chatted about the books we’re reading, we compared notes on recent reads and whether we’d liked or disliked.
The S.R.C. was born.
Carla’s Rules for Solitary Reading Club.
#1. Read what you want. There’s nothing too trashy.
In the olden days I belonged to a book club filled with intelligent, highly educated women. I may be the latter, I could potentially be the former, I still wanted the club to be a place for friendship and light discussion. The chosen books were ones I’d hoped Id read someday, but not necessarily reads I wanted to make time for right then. S.R.C. will be a judgement-free zone.
#2. Talk before. Talk after. Shhhhhh! during.
I’m always searching for book recommendations. I love to vent about life and adore hearing details about yours. That said, however long the designated reading time, it’s important that time is silent and sacred. Quiet reading could be for 20 minutes? It could deliciously last an hour? It doesn’t matter! However long the duration it’s interruption-free, word-immersion time. Connecting, recommending next reads etc fits fantastically after the silence.
#3. No electronics.
I was definitely guilty of *always* having my phone by my side when the child was little and we were apart. Other than that sort of phone call emergency I want S.R.C. time to be a technology free zone. Instagram’ing of book covers. Tweeting an author. Snaps of books reviews. All of those things can be done after.
(We’ll see if that actually happens.)
Hosting an event is an easy endeavor for me. I don’t define myself as baker, cook or foodie and, as a result, am entirely comfortable dashing through a gourmet market hours before and snagging everything delicious I see.
(And adding coffee.)
Ive watched, however, as foodiefriends fret over what to prepare and worry over dietary restrictions/preferences. Not in the S.R.C.! Here readers supply books, snacks and libations (if she chooses host can offer glasses & utensils)! As an added bonus the host will not be distracted from her own plot-consumption by snack serving and drinks delivering.
(I’ll *always* share my canned sparkling water, too!)
And that’s it!
Location (homes? coffee houses?), book swaps (bring faves reads to exchange), meeting frequency decision and done!
I’m really excited about the potential of this as, with school starting next week (!), I’m hoping S.R.C. will be my booster shot until something bigger comes along.
- Do you belong to a book club? If you don’t, is it for fear of not finishing the selection?
- What’s your first reaction to the idea of a Solitary Reading Club?