I’ve always loved to read great books, particularly fiction. As a pretty social person, I’ve found that my reading life has been enhanced greatly by participating in several book groups—the most recent one lasting nearly nine years. My reading buddies and I have read close to 100 books together during that period.
In the past year or so, I’ve noticed that our book group has begun struggling to agree on and enjoy our book selections. I think this is partly due to the fact that we happen to be in a very busy phase of life. We are all 40-something women, with multiple children and at least-part time jobs. At the end of each day, we are exhausted from running our kids around and overseeing our households. Eking out reading time is not easy. Harder still is getting our schedules in sync to arrange our meetings. Our book selections are critical. We have zero interest in books that turn out to be total duds, and we are choosing far too many of those lately.
Recently I read this piece in Sunday’s New York Times about how the sweeping changes in the publishing industry have affected readers. The article resonated with me on several levels.
First, as a freelance writer, I know all too well the ways that the industry has affected my own professional career path. Second, I considered the possibility that perhaps those new publishing industry realities really have weighed on our ability to find excellent books.
I decided to start a community of reading groups, and solo readers, who might benefit from input about their reading selections from a wide range of devoted readers. Right now, I’m not sure exactly how this idea will shake out, but I’m going to start with this blog. It will all stay free and focused on reading for discussion. Stay tuned to see what happens!
What would you like to see in this space?