The Alternative Book Club

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I read a lot. When I was younger, I would spend most of my weekend with a pot of tea or glass of wine (depending on the time of day) lying in bed devouring book after book after book. I had just discovered 19th century classics and was bent on reading every single one. I revelled in the sanctuary of my room which was filled with glossy new paperbacks, musty old hardbacks, mammoth-sized art publications, both inside my large bookcase and strewn on every surface.

Even now I’m working full-time I always make time to read, although my tastes have expanded to include newer tomes. I’ve always got one novel on the go, a Big Issue magazine to read, maybe a reference book or two to dip in and out of. I usually read on my lunch break and before I go to bed. If a book has really grabbed me I can turn into an addict. In addition to my usual reading hours, I will try to sneak in a few pages before I get out of bed in the morning (making myself late for work in the process), put off making dinner to just finish the chapter and forgo interactions in the real world for the world inside the paper covers. I speed towards the finish and (sometimes) have to sneakily read ahead or check the ending because I can hardly bear the suspense!

Despite my love for books, I’ve never joined a book club. I don’t know if I would like them, judging by the suggested book club questions you sometimes find printed in the backs of recently released paperbacks. Reading for me, I suppose, is more about feeling what the characters are going through and what I would feel when in their situation rather than asking myself “Why?” and “When?” and “How?”.

So I thought that I’d create my own book club series; without questions, just vignettes of how the book made me feel and the images and thoughts that went through my mind when I was reading.

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I’ve been reading “Wild: A journey from lost to found” by Cheryl Strayed lately and thought it worthy of being the first book to receive my alternative book club treatment. I’ll be posting my thoughts about it in the next week if you’d like to join me!


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