The percentage of Americans who read at least one book last year eclipses the number who didn’t read a book at all. And most people read multiple books a year. Reading helps us understand ourselves, the world around us, social movements, the experience of others. We build empathy through stories.
- In the face of social movements like #BlackLivesMatter, people whose privilege has shielded them from experiencing racial oppression first-hand are turning to books to educate themselves through the stories of others.
- The harm to our institutions from the current administration has been most successfully communicated through books, in the telling of the personal experience of former White House aides.
- And reading has brought us together at a time when we are isolated, through digital books clubs and social reading.
At BookClub, we hope to organize this energy, creating a platform for learning and introspection through life changing conversations, centered around books and the authors themselves.
I’m sensitive to the very real critique that reading alone isn’t enough to generate radical introspection and change, that it can become performative. Our approach is author-centered, allowing the person who put the idea to page to speak for it. By building with this intention, and cultivating discussion (not just sharing), I believe we can move our audience beyond performance toward internalized learning.
If you love to read and want to share your experience of in-person and digital book clubs, or if you’re an author and curious about how we can help connect you to your audience, or if you’re an organizer who uses book clubs and curation to help others interpret a broader narrative–I want to hear from you!
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a DM on Twitter @elou.
I’m inspired by this article exploring how frustration can be a source of creativity. It’s the inherent optimism behind creative thinking that allows us to imagine a path out of that which binds us.
I’ve seen others express concern that becoming a parent will negatively affect their career. Certainly, there are examples of toxic companies that only want to hire 20-somethings with no children or worldly commitments (though why anyone would fund leadership with such short-sighted expectations is beyond me). Parenthood teaches you ways of thinking about, reacting to, and experiencing life that you can never understand until you’re in it.