A Lonely Business

Sometimes reading is a lonely business.

When one reads a book, it’s largely an internal process. So many times I have finished a novel only to close it and think to myself, “that was really good, now what?” Whereas it is definitely satisfying to read something worthwhile, it’s sometimes frustrating to have no one to share it with.

Going to a movie is different. In a theatre, one is surrounded by other people. Although everyone interprets a movie in a different way, it’s still a shared experience and there is a very real sense of a collective emotional response. Raucous laughter, horrified shrieks, exasperated groans, or tearful sniffles are only some of the reactions that may be prompted by the activity on the screen and expressed by numerous people at once.  When one is filing out afterwards,   it’s common to hear murmurs among the crowd, such sentiments as “that was so cool” or “I liked it when…” and maybe even “I can’t believe I paid to see that!”  It could be said that watching a movie, especially in the company of others, is a far more external process.

Of course, there are ways to change this dynamic. For several decades now, I have had the privilege of occasionally hosting the St. Thomas Public Library book club. This group is comprised of an enthusiastic collection of individuals, many of whom have gotten together as a group for years. Suddenly, the solitary act of reading is not so solitary at all. The book in question is discussed, opinions are expressed, questions are raised, and themes are explored. Different perspectives are encouraged and serve to enhance the often energetic conversation. Sometimes the discussion will lead to a mention of another work altogether and one might leave the meeting inspired to try a new author, search for a new title, or, sometimes even, branch out into a new genre.  There is a certain satisfaction that comes with being able to share a “good read” with other people and the book club provides the perfect forum.

Book Club
Book Club – A different reading dynamic!

For those who are interested in attending the St. Thomas Public Library Book Club, meetings are held in the Carnegie Room (lower level), the first Tuesday of every month starting at 10 a.m. and run from September through June. A list of the chosen books can be found on our website or can be obtained at one of our Service desks. New members are always welcome and there is no need to register in advance.

So if you interested, the process is simple; just read the book, show up, and share!

-BH

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