Book Lovers? Your Time Has Arrived.

photo courtesy All Bong, Unsplash

“The child I once was read constantly and hardly spoke, because she was ambivalent about the merits of communication, about the risks of being mocked or punished or exposed. The idea of being understood and encouraged, of recognizing herself in another, of affirmation, had hardly occurred to her and neither had the idea that she had something to give others. So she read, taking in words in huge quantities, a children’s and then an adult’s novel a day for many years, seven books a week or so, gorging on books, fasting on speech, carrying piles of books home from the library.”  Rebecca Solnit

Sound familiar? Was this you? “…gorging on books…” Endlessly curious about, oh, everything? Needing intellectual stimulation more than breakfast?

I’m guessing that you’re still madly in love with your favorite authors. Piling up more and more books by your bed. Frustrated by how much you don’t know and how little time you have left to learn it. Obsessed with “interestingness hunter-gatherer” Maria Popova‘s musings in her Brain Pickings and wishing that you, too, could spend your days reading and synthesizing knowledge across countless disciplines. Wanting Emily Graslie‘s job of Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Chicago Field Museum. Feeding your endless appetite for Jane Austen and Toni Morrison.

Well, my fellow book nerds, I have good news. It appears that reading is no longer just for geeks. Book clubs are becoming hip. They’re popping up everywhere. And there are so many websites with book recommendations that a bookworm could get overwhelmed by so much goodness. I’m only going to mention a few here and you can tell us about your favorites in the comments. These are not endorsements, just places to start exploring.

Yesterday I heard about a new club started by the New York Times and PBS Newshour.

There’s the silent book club that I wrote about here, particularly fun for the introverts among you.

Ariana Huffington’s ThriveGlobal is starting a book group in collaboration with Book of the Month club. (I know you read more than one book a month. But hey.)

The SENG organization that supports the emotional needs of the gifted just started a book club that will focus on books about gifted issues.

There’s Book Riot. A site for book gorgers. I don’t know if it’s reputable but I love the name.

And because I live in Oregon, I must mention Powell’s City of Books. An actual bookstore. You can get lost in there for days. Bring a tent.

Then, there’s this:

A post on why you should join an online book club from the Huffington Post.

An article by reader extraordinaire, Maria Popova, on why it’s beneficial to have more books in your home that you have not read. Called an antilibrary.

And a list of online book clubs you might try.

Oh, and, for fun, you’ll really want to check out Book Nerd Problems on Facebook from Epic Reads.

So, there you go.

You no longer need to hide your Tolstoy behind a Sports Illustrated. And if you need proof, here’s a recent piece about the reading-isn’t-just-for-geeks movement from the New York Times. Still not convinced? Here’s another.

Granted, if you try a book group, you will still need to select carefully so that at least some of your co-readers are as curious, deep thinking, and as obsessed as you are. Some of them may care more about the great wine than the great read. So, as always, be on the lookout for the rainforest-minded souls. But because you’re revealing your true book-devouring nature, you just might attract another voracious reader or two.

And together you can eat intellectual stimulation for breakfast.



To my bloggEEs: Have you found good resources for book recommendations? Are you in a book group that is rewarding? Have you had to hide your appetite for learning? Thank you for sharing your insight and experiences and for being part of Team Rainforest Mind!


Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

17 responses to “Book Lovers? Your Time Has Arrived.”

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  1. Nobody Likes a Know-It-All and Other Familiar Refrains That Gifted Souls Endure | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] at our RFM blog clubhouse until you all move to Oregon. But I have an idea. Consider starting a silent book reading group in your town. Or see if there’s already one that you can attend. I bet you that some other […]

  2. Nobody Likes a Know-It-All and Other Familiar Refrains That Gifted Souls Endure | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] at our RFM blog clubhouse until you all move to Oregon. But I have an idea. Consider starting a silent book reading group in your town. Or see if there’s already one that you can attend. I bet you that some other […]

  3. “…Your Fierce and Unbreakable Light…” | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] permission to try things and leave if they’re not right for you. (except we all know that binge reading is always […]

  4. Christy Harvey Avatar
    Christy Harvey

    Fantastic idea 💡- I grew up with books 📚 like wallpaper, stacked on every available area. Still love my stacks. I haven’t joined a club primarily because of my introverted nature, but I am intrigued with some of the ones you’ve listwat. Thank you for the ideas ❤️

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Ha! Books like wallpaper! Yes.

  5. Jens Lyon Avatar
    Jens Lyon

    I am a member of a real-life book club. I don’t have time to join an online book club on a permanent basis, but if I’ve read a good book I enjoy discussing it with others online.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks, Jen. It could be that the real-life club is ideal, if you’ve got the right people.

  6. Stacey Boggs Avatar
    Stacey Boggs

    How can the city that is home to Powell’s City of Books not be part of the Silent Book Club?!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Actually, Stacey, I think they did have a Silent Book Club until pretty recently. I’m not sure why they ended it. Are you in Portland? You should start one!!

  7. maggiebrown2015 Avatar

    Wonderful resources, thanks Paula! One of my bestie childhood friends was Margaret Mead. Thank goodness for biographies and autobiographies! This is the community that raised me.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      So many of our lonely youngsters find their friends in the books they read, don’t they? Us, too! Margaret Mead, eh? What a cool bestie!

  8. lauralynnwalsh Avatar

    I enjoy reading, but my tastes in books are mostly quite different from the other people in my (two) book groups. Even some of the discussion on Goodreads is a bit too shallow for me – too much on the order of “I liked it” or “Excellent writing”. It is extremely hard to find someone who loves the books that I love and who wants to discuss them in depth, e.g., Under what conditions should humanity exploit its young in order to save itself? [Ender’s Game] or “Is it ethical to omit information so that you don’t have to lie, when your survival and that of the kingdom depends on not knowing the truth? [The False Prince]?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      I love those questions, lauralynn! I think that’s the challenge for the rainforest-minded. Finding others who want to dive as deep.

  9. hksounds Avatar

    Hi Paula,

    I don’t think I’m going to join a book club any time soon but I enjoyed reading your post. I visited Bookriot and left a comment on one of the articles. That was fun. I looked at Literary Classics and they are stopping, Some require you to comment through FaceBook which I do not support.

    My take on most books is quite different I do believe. One of my favorite books is ‘Moby Dick.” I got very excited when I was reading it. I would ask others if they had read it and when they said yes, I asked them if they thought it was funny and they all said no. I would then take a passage and read it to them and they agreed it was very funny. They hadn’t got it when they had read it. Such a pity as I think that is true of most readers of that fab book.

    I teach literature to students in a language center here in Hong Kong, and the so-called teachers of literature in their classrooms seem to know nothing about the poems or stories they are ‘teaching.’ These teachers use ‘teaching notes’ that are mostly nonsense and seem to be written by people who never read the work. My students are given a conclusion and then shown how to cherry pick support for this conclusion instead of starting with the text, striving to understand the actual words used and then following where the text leads. I get angry with this teaching method that teaches nothing and alienates the students.

    Last month I read a wonderful book, ‘Cathedral of the Wild’ by Boyd Varty. Another of the best books I read of 2017, was one I had long heard of but hadn’t read, “Oliver Twist.” When you look around at what is happening in the USA, and elsewhere, I see the same hardheartedness and vicious attitudes and behavior towards the poor that Dickens depicted so well. Had I read this when I was younger, I would not have believed that people could hold those sentiments. Now, the same contempt from elected ‘representatives’ can be ascertained from their enactments and I know that such people not only exist but are in ascendence in our society.

    I love books. Read any good ones lately?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, hksounds. It’s always a pleasure to hear your take on things. And thanks for the book recommendations!

    2. Gabi Avatar

      I love books and why I became a literature and a teacher but also why I gave up on book clubs and teaching. Going to book club where hardly anyone reads the book (except for me) or people are mostly complaining about how many pages the book club made them read is annoying. Teaching students who will not read the books and just google the cliff notes or watch a YouTube that summarizes the book with cute pictures is also .. annoying. I read my books and talk about good books with a few people I know who are also lovers of the written word.

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        So frustrating, Gabi! That’s why being selective is important. I’m glad you’ve found a few people who love words as much as you do. Appreciate hearing from you.