For many years I’ve wanted to host a virtual book club. A blog is the ideal format for such a club. A virtual book club has many advantages over a real life book club. First of all we don’t have to wrestle with the inconvenience of juggling everyone’s busy schedules in order to meet. Participants are free to comment at any time and at any place where there’s internet access. Secondly, in a virtual book club introverts and extroverts are on an equal footing. In a real life book club the conversation can be dominated by those who find it easy to speak. Those of us who like to formulate our thoughts can be drowned out of the discussion. A virtual book club doesn’t face such difficulties. Extroverts are free to chat away while introverts carefully put together comments. Thirdly, in a virtual book club we can discuss while we’re reading a book rather than waiting until we’ve all finished. Such conversation will both improve and stretch our ability to listen to the books we read. Lastly, in a virtual book club we can draw participants from all over the world. We may meet online those whom we would never meet in person.
The greatest disadvantage of a virtual book club is that virtual food isn’t all that appetizing. We also won’t be able to see one another’s faces or hear what can only be expressed vocally. I’m willing to live with such disadvantages. I hope my readers are as well.
How do we start? I haven’t worked that out just yet. I’m open to suggestions. I’m currently reading Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics and Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity. Perhaps we should start with the former since it has many Kindle versions (some very reasonably priced). Don’t let the title intimidate you. So far (I’ve read part one) Saussure is very accessible and a lot of fun to read. My goal is to start the discussion in about a week.