20 January 2013

This Ain't Your Mamma's Book Club

Today's blog post comes from Wondra of Wondra's World

Connecting with other bibliophiles used to be difficult, but with today's technology readers can share the books they love without leaving their home. 
This ain't your mamma's book club.

Imagine a nice suburban living room full of soccer moms sipping (Sipping? I meant gulping.) glasses of wine as they completely ignore the paperbacks sitting on their knees. They talk about their husbands, their children, the local supermarket, the weather, the local gossip... Everything BUT the poor, neglected books that half of them probably haven't even started, much less finished.

Imagine you're at that book club because - stay with me now, this is radical - YOU LIKE TO READ. I know... It's hard to believe. You try to interject with random questions about the novel: "And what did you think of the author's use of symbolism?" but no one pays you the slightest bit of mind. You get frustrated and leave in a huff, never to return again. At home, alone, you squeeze the novel onto one of your many overflowing bookshelves and sigh a sad little sigh because there was such brilliance in those pages and you had so badly wanted to share your awe with someone.

That was the way it used to be.

There are probably still countless "book clubs" all through The Burbs where housewives are tittering over their Chardonnay - the only difference is that us real bibliophiles (If you don't know what the word means, you aren't one.) don't have to endure their presences any more.

Thank the gods for the internet!

Now, bibliophiles can interact with like-minded people without ever having to leave their own homes. We can just get online and let it all out - because that's what drove us to those so-called book clubs in the first place: full to bursting with love, hate, desire, joy, despair, hope... all those things that good novels inspire in us... we're dying to let it all out, to see if anyone else was as affected by the words as we were. We just want to know that we aren't alone by being totally and utterly consumed by the stories we read.

That's where websites like Shelfari and Good Reads come in. These websites are where bibliophiles connect, engage, and share their passion for the written word. We use these sites to review books, to suggest them to our friends, and to add more and more names to our ever increasing Lists of Books to Read Before We Die.

And is if that wasn't enough - because there never is enough when books are concerned - we can connect, not just with other readers, but with the authors themselves via websites like Twitter and Facebook. Ever wonder what an author meant when they wrote that? Now you can just tweet them and ask!

The internet is our living room now and these websites are our modern book clubs - complete with guest speakers! (Wine optional.)

Be sure to check out my post Sharing the Joy of Reading at Wondra's World.

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