Recently, I bit the bullet and joined an online book club because I miss people. I miss talking about the books I read. And I miss talking to people about books.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved the concept of book clubs. Just that reading an appointed book for the month can be a bit of a drag. And listening to people talking passionately about a book with a title that I can’t even decipher the meaning of, is not all that appealing.
But pandemic changes people. in a desperate time, one takes desperate measures. I emailed Natalie. Natalie is a librarian I got to know from my days in Southbank BYOD Community Club. She used to host a monthly meet-up to discuss the books we read in the past month (it’s a book club without a designated book — you know, the best kind).
I was a member for the most part of 2017- 2018. But then I stopped going, though if you ask me now, I can’t really remember why. I want to say it’s because of the weather. Winter in Melbourne is pretty gruesome. I never want to do anything in the evening other than rushing back from work and hiding inside my electric blanket at home. But the weather alone seems like a stupid reason to stop going.
Anyway, past action reflections aside, Natalie replied to my email which basically was a plea to her to take me under her online book club wing. She has stopped managing book clubs, she said. But she hooked me up with her colleague Ivy who was currently hosting a few book clubs online.
Ivy replied to my email. She was happy that I want to join an online book club. Unfortunately, only the eAudio book club has the capacity to add a new member at the moment.
“eAudio, jeez,” I thought.
The only reason I have an Audible app on my phone is just so I can listen to various chapters of The Secret (and its’ family) in the loop.
The thought of listening to an eAudio fiction doesn’t excite me at all. But Ivy did say that the next book for the book club is a thriller and I do have all the free time thanks to the pandemic.
I sighed to no-one and replied back with “sign me up”.
Soon afterwards I downloaded the book The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham and listened to it whenever I did chores around the house or right before drifting off to lalaland.
To be fair, listening to eAudio fiction was not half as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe it’s got to do with the book’s genres. Anyway, a week later I finished the eBook and the week after that I logged into the book’s online meeting.
There were 18 of us in the Zoom meeting. All women. I managed to identify a lady who I used to discuss the latest reads with in the previous book club hosted by Natalia. I wanted to greet her, but I didn’t remember her name. I peeked at her name on the zoom screen. It said “iPad”. Great.
The book discussion started almost immediately, led by a few who must have been regulars.
I listened mostly, other than interrupting once to defend the main antagonist (she doesn’t have the capability to hurt people anymore).
We moved on to other books they are currently reading and wanting to read and lastly, the books to read for both November and December for the book club.
An hour and a brief goodbye later, I closed my laptop, feeling fully satiated, both in mind and heart.