If you are avid reader, reluctant reader, occasional reader, past time reader, once in the blue moon reader, in-vogue reader, E- reader, audio listener, non-reader, or whatever kind of reader you consider yourself as; It is very probable that you have come across a situation where you have reached a deadlock in conversation, interaction or in a meeting and a book read has been a savior!
You might have heard about Oprah club, Gates Notes and Mark Zuckerberg’s 2015 Year of book challenge and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. The famous trend of celebrity book clubs, groups, discussion, sessions all preach the same slogan, let’s talk books.
You might wonder, why? Isn’t reading a personal, quiet and contemplative activity? Why should we make it a joint, crowded and talkative activity in a world which cannot keep quiet in the first place?
Talking about books make reading interesting
Have you ever picked a book and thought to yourself, this book seems great only if I am able to understand it? That’s when where book talks come handy.
Many teachers have quoted that merely assigning students books to read, doesn’t help in inculcating reading spirit in children. They appear distant and least interested. Rather, when teachers come in class and start explaining the plot, background and subject of the book to the students, students reciprocate differently. It becomes a suspense story for the children, which unfolds by reading. They start to lean forward and listen intently to what this read might hold. It makes reading that book like an explorative trip!
Adults are no different. Many times, we pick up a book with intricate subject and complex ideas. Solo reading can make it hard to comprehend, but if one goes to a book group which collectively discusses that particular book, hidden messages start to unfold. Different readers perceive different parts of the book at varying levels. Talking about your perception and understanding makes the book easy to absorb and far more enriching.
Book talks with authors, makes the experience even more fulfilling. We can see the person behind all the words before us. We can visualize and feel the ideas, feelings and experience behind the author’s words. Our imaginations get a foundation of author’s personal perspectives. We get a third eye view to our read.
Explore new genres
Reading in seclusion, sometimes, proves monotonous. You tend to pick same kind of books with similar genres. On the flipside, if you join a group or sit with people reading different genres, you tend to get an inspiration to explore your reading pallet. A thriller lover can read a spiritual book. A novel reader can start reading biographies. A literary fiction reader can start reading Sci-fi.
When someone describes his/her reading experience, and you engage in a conversation, it generates new impulses to be able to feel the same adrenaline rush. That’s where talking about books plays the magic! You hunger grows as a reader.
Meeting strangers can be a daunting task when you go to a new place, school, university, or office. Many short talks is prompted at the mention of a common interest. Books in many cases have proven to connect people really well. They can not only talk about their solo experience but also understand each other at a deeper level. You instantly feel being at the same boat, experiencing the same weather and moving with same intellectual wind currents.
A book discussion is like a handshake you make with others that bonds the people at intellectual level. It’s not cosmetic, its functional!
Creates a culture of integrated perspective
We are all unique. No two people think, feel or see alike. Our mind, soul filters our reality. That is exactly why, an inclusive and mutual interaction is needed to build a culture of tolerance, acceptance, arguments, discussions, and reasoning. A book has as many layers, as there are readers. Every eye sees different message penned down by the author according to his/her unique state of mind.
By talking about books, we share our lenses with others. We evolve mutually to a greater understanding of the text as well the idea that book carries. That’s what initiate, cognitive evolution and metamorphosis. You learn to ponder on what you would not have thought about otherwise.
You question, answer, and build a narrative. You realize that may be there are is nothing black and white. There is a lot of grey around us. Your reality is as true as mine.
And that is okay!
All the above plus points of talking about books are just the tip of ice berg.
Try striking a conversation right now about a book with the person sitting next to you and witness the alchemy at work.