The Filipino Reader Conference is just 8 days away! And here’s the fourth Filipino Friday post. For this week:
August 10 – Books and Friends. We will have book discussions hosted by several book clubs during the ReaderCon, so to prepare us for that, let’s talk about books and friendships and book clubs. Are you a part of a book club? If yes, what made you join one? What’s your favorite activity that you have with them? If you’re not a part of one, will you consider joining one? Why or why not?
Are you a part of a book club? – Yes! I’m a member of Goodreads – The Filipino Group since January 26, 2011. In fact, I was once a moderator (from December 2011 to July 2012). I left the post because I felt that I’d enjoy the club better if I were an active member. Anyway, it’s an online-offline book club based on Goodreads. I first introduced myself to the members on the Introductions thread (it’s nearly impossible to find out about the group without visiting the threads). And here is the first message that I ever posted:
Hi everyone, I’m Angus from Makati City. I am not really into classifying books, but here are my Top Five Books from the top of my head: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Death at Intervals by Jose Saramago, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.
I am currently reading Possession by A. S. Byatt. I’m a little bored with it.
Other recent reads are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Sea by John Banville, The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
I plan to read the following books this year: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter.
I guess I talk too much? :)
Regarding the books that I intended to read last year, I was able to finish two out of five, namely Gone with the Wind and The Inheritance of Loss. Anna Karenina, I will be reading soon with Kwesi and Atty. Lynai (I hope they won’t back out) before the new adaptation comes out.
I’m also a member of The Classics Club. Members are from all over the world so it’s exclusively online. But who knows, we might do one giant meetup somewhere, hopefully in Santorini, Greece.
And then there are the blogging projects, but they are all inactive at the moment so I’d rather not mention them.
If yes, what made you join one? – With GR-TFG, I just wanted to catalogue my books. I first had an account at Librarything, but it did not become my thing. The communities there aren’t as active as the ones in Goodreads, and I found the site a tad boring. One time, I saw one of my Facebook friends post a Goodreads update. I was just scrolling through my newsfeed. So when my eyes caught the item, I clicked it, signed up for it, and the rest is history.
With TCC, it’s more of a challenge to make myself read more classics. You see, each member sets a goal and a deadline for himself. If you want to know mine, it’s 75 classics in 5 years. Yes, it’s a long-term commitment, and after nearly four months of being a member, I have finished a measly four.
What’s your favorite activity that you have with them? – I will focus on GR-TFG here. My favorite activities are the book discussions and the palengke (slang for wet market) meetups. We’ve only started the monthly book discussions this year, and if you are a frequent visitor of my blog, you’ll see my posts regarding each. If you have just stumbled here by chance, here they are:
- January: 1984 by George Orwell
- February: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- March: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- April: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- May: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- June: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
- July: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The palengke meetups are just that: casual and informal meet-ups where we do anything book-related or not. We eat at random restaurants, we go book-hunting, we swap books, we give away books, we watch movies, or we just waste the hours away with each other’s company. I think these meetups made our connections with each other stronger.
If you want to make friends, join a book club. If you want to make money, go into business. Only a fool confuses the two.
I have forever been searching for whomever said that. Thanks to Google, I now know who it is: Richard Evans in his novel A Christmas List. And I couldn’t agree more; most of my friends in the city are from my book club.
There are other book clubs in the metro. There’s one based on Shelfari (Flips Flipping Pages). There’s one based on Read Philippines (I think it’s an independent forum/site). And there are more lurking out there (Ex Libris, Mysterious Reading Society). Maybe there are more in the provinces. I hope so. I really do.