the community of readers

On WritingIt’s funny. Reading is, more or less, a solitary endeavour. Granted, you can read out loud to someone, so it can be a group activity. (If you’re a parent, it can be a powerful thing to share with your kids.) But, the vast majority of the time, reading is something we do solo.

Writing’s the same way.

And yet, there’s a real sense of community among readers (and writers). Just a few days ago, I was at brunch with some new friends. These are people I hardly knew prior to sitting down to eat. (They all work with Nimue.) We started with no real points of connection. The conversation was the sort you’d expect with people you don’t know–fairly tame chit-chat.

And then someone mentioned a book.

I didn’t know these people were readers. I watched, very nearly drooling, as they got animated. They were clearly passionate about their fiction, and, lo and behold, their tastes ran parallel to mine. First, it was Game of Thrones. Then someone mentioned The Dresden Files. When Nimue said, “You should tell them about Lonely Werewolf Girl,” I disregarded any effort to chew with my mouth closed, launching into a full-bore plug for my favorite book with glee.

It was magical.

If you’re a reader (or writer), and you’re not currently connecting with other readers (or writers), then you’re missing out. You’re missing out on good recommendations of books you wouldn’t know to read otherwise. You’re missing out on the fun of talking about your favorite parts of shared fiction experiences. And, most of all, you’re missing out on the energy and excitement of a collective love of the story.

You almost certainly know other readers. Start talking to ’em. If you don’t know other readers, consider joining Goodreads, the social network just for bookworms. Reading may be a solitary activity most of the time, but a significant part of the fun of being a reader is sharing those moments of magic with others.

Yes, there really is a community of readers, and it’s a beautiful thing.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

10 Responses to the community of readers

  1. Definitely. I’ve haunted a few book clubs in my time. While I found the discussions enjoyable & energizing, I learned something about myself. I don’t like to “force” read. In other words, reading on a specific timeline. It ends up feeling like work or a chore to me…something I *have to get done which ruins it. So book clubs have been ixnayed for now. Reading groups, Goodreads and like-minded friends are definitely more my speed.

    Glad you had a good time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dex says:

      I’ve never been a part of a reading club for that very reason. That said, when I discover that someone is reading/had read the same books as me, I can easily spend hours in conversation about them.

      Like

  2. diannegray says:

    So true, Dex! Very well said ๐Ÿ˜€

    Now I’ll have to go and find you on Goodreads ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tristdagon says:

    Agreed! I always get crazy excited when I meet people with the same reading interests as me.
    I’m glad you had fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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