“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!
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