When I was at my previous church, a book club was formed, and I joined. Most of the members of the group were women, an average of two decades older than I. Each month, we’d pick a topic, and we’d all read different books around that topic; it might be about crafts or poetry or popular culture. With that structure, I always read ten to twelve books a year, and usually lot more; reading begat more reading.
The group lasted about nine years, and I felt that I learned more about these people from hearing them speak about the books they chose to read than from any other encounters I had with them.
After that period, I would start many books. Without the stimulus of mutual responsibility to the group, though, I often failed to finish.
I’m fascinated that I’ve managed to read more books in the final three months of last year than in the previous three years, and I’m not sure why. I do know that I was tired of looking at an increasingly large pile of unread books, for I would continue to purchase them at book sales and at book signings.
Completed in the last quarter of 2012:
Governor Martin H. Glynn: Forgotten Hero
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Vince Guaraldi at the Piano
A Reporter’s Life by Walter Cronkite
Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning
After All by Mary Tyler Moore
Plus Ken Levine’s book about the 1960s that I haven’t written about yet.
They are, incidentally, physical books, not on a device such as an Amazon Nook. And my wife HAS a Nook. I like the book. I spend at least seven hours every weekday on a computer for work. I blog on a computer at home. The idea of using another device to read books is unappealing, at this juncture. Perhaps, it’s, as Dustbury notes, that e-books don’t feel like one is buying anything. Or, more broadly, maybe it’s because, as Arthur described so well, I am a digital immigrant.