Ever since I read an interview with one of the editors of Capital Light (a Bulgarian newspaper), I’ve been dreaming of having my own literary club. As nerdy and boring as it might sound to some of you, I find the idea quite interesting and provocative. Having the possibility not only to enjoy a book but to share this experience with similar passionate readers has provoked me to search for possibilities to fulfill my dream.
You might now wonder what this “literary club” will do. No, we won’t be keeping one of those terrible book journals they made us have in preliminary school. Instead, I imagine 5 or 6 very devoted readers gathering each month (or more frequently, depending on availability) to discuss a given book. The members will alternate to pick a novel and then the rest will have a certain amount of time to read it. When everyone is ready, we would simply gather in a fancy restaurant (I am a typical Taurus and I consider a good food and a good drink one of the greatest pleasures in life) to discuss, share, argue, and elaborate.
There are several reasons why I am so inclined to have a reading club. First of all, I would love to have some people sharing my passion. As lovely as this blog is, sometimes I feel this one way communication is not really effective. As I am highly fascinated by marketing concepts right now, I want to apply a certain marketing theory I learned the other day. The key to creating long-term sustainable and growing relationships is engaging in a two-way communication. Dialogue and feedback help manufactures understand the needs and desires of customers and thus improve the product or service they are offering.
In a similar way, I believe that having a reading club will improve my reading ability. I indeed post comments with great pleasure but I seldomly get any responses. And even if I do, the likelihood of a meaningful discussion is limited. Thus, my scope and understanding of the book remain the same as when I finished it. With a reading club, however, I will have the chance to elaborate and discuss the issues in the novel with fellow readers, to hear their points of view, and even to pay attention to a fact or idea I had neglected while reading. After all, we are all diverse people with different and unique perceptions and each one of us contributes to the awareness of others.
Most importantly, I believe that having a reading club will change the way I read. I don’t mean I am an inattentive or negligent reader. Sometimes, however, I am so drawn into a given story that I can’t wait to finish it. Thus I read rather quickly and sometimes I miss crucial points. Having a reading club will provoke me to be more attentive to details as I will have to discuss them later and eventually prove my point.
Let’s not forget the part where everybody eats and drinks. I don’t want my reading club to be another academic gathering. Instead I want to make it a nice warm place, where people with similar passions gather to share and enjoy themselves. Hence the good food and the drink. After all, a nice glass of wine and a piece of sushi stimulate a good and fruitful discussion and contribute to an enjoyable and pleasant time.