Monday, August 19, 2013

Reading with Friends

I've always wanted to be in a book club. The idea of a group reading has always appealed to me. Unfortunately my taste and geographical location has hindered my abilities to any real book club that doesn't have a median age of 57 and their hearts set on reading the second Shades of Grey book.

However last year I talked one of my friends into wading through Anna Karenina with me. While we rarely read in the same room, or really did more than go "ugh Anna just STOP" via text, it was nice to have a companion in my reading endeavors.  Being someone who has no qualms about putting down a book when it gets dull for a tome like Anna I really did need a friend around to help me push through talks of farming and politics.

This year my AK friend and I took on American Gods in what was originally intended to be a real book club, with real meetings and a reading schedule. This fell apart quickly but being real life friends with other real life obligations we took our time with Gods (and lost one of our readers) and would take some time our of weekly dinners to fangirl over Neil Gaiman.  It was a great experience to actually talk about a book with someone who was just discovering things at the same time I was. I do tend to look back at this with rose colored glasses because right after finishing American Gods I saw Neil Gaiman speak at the Michigan Theater. He signed my kindle. Bookish highlight of the year!

Last weekend my good friend in Dallas texted me about a book she was finishing which got us talking about this list and before we realized what we were in for we were hundreds of pages deep into The Kite Runner. Being hundreds of miles apart didn't hinder the experience. I have a slew of texts that show our emotional distress at every passing chapter and honestly without her as a reading partner not only would I have chucked Kite Runner aside halfway through but I probably would have still needed therapy for all of the emotional turmoil it created. Pro tip: Don't read a Hosseini novel in under 24 hours. We are now happily reading Cookoos Calling. Nobody has cried since Last Sunday.

I know reading is usually a solitary activity. I spend 95% of my bookish time quietly squealing in my room as i underline passages and check book blogs. However if the past several months have taught me anything it's that sometimes you need a friend to push you through those dry/uncomfortable/seemingly unnecessary chapters.

Do any of you have a reading buddy? If so I want to hear all about it!

Shout out to Kirsten & Amanda for being the best reading buddies out there!

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