It’s exciting to hear of ways our reading culture is buoyant.
After reading Jacqueline Van Dyk’s blog ‘Open Book‘ , I reflect again on the state of reading. Social media initiatives like ActionableBooks, give book clubs even a wider diversity and new potential. Our local librarians are a constant source of content and support. Although, a wonderful option, I suspect that the local, personal and intimate nature of reading circles or clubs is a force digital iterations will not replace. ( ie drinking wine seems to be a prerequisite )
As a teacher-librarian(ret) I was always engaged as a nurturer. As an individual I’m experiencing a different role. Reading has become a far more solitary experience but reading is a dynamic and personal experience. Everyone reads( if they are blessed with the skill) in their own unique way from cradle to grave.
As teenagers, girls read more than boys, but the fellas do grow up and find reading again later. I notice many older men are prolific readers despite not being academics or professionals. People from all walks of life read. Reading is part of a wider cultural context. Maybe the ‘nerdish’ stereotype of reading becomes acceptable after the young men find their sense masculinity? Perhaps it’s that YA is written and published for the young girls market? Perhaps the content catches up to men later? Finding content for teenage boys is a slippier task. The huge YA reading trend will likely keep book clubs healthy in the near future- at least female clubs.
I have witnessed the power of book clubs from friends and colleagues. Surpassing the literary merits may be the social intellectual value of clubs. I have noticed ,however, that book clubs are largely a female landscape. Perhaps it’s the thirst for the socializing nature that keeps women enjoying the various forms of the book club? Perhaps it’s that men acquire their social needs in other venues?
For men , it appears that reading, especially the novel, is a solitary part of lifestyle choices. Regardless, reading is still a vital part of our lives.
“Actionable Books.” Default Podcast. Web. 12 Jan. 2016. http://www.actionablebooks.com/en-ca/about/
“The Power of Book Clubs.” Open Book. Web. 12 Jan. 2016. http://jacquelinevandyk.ca/the-power-of-book-clubs/