Sometimes all you need is a good book

I am terrible at reading books. In the last five years I’ve read maybe five books on my own accord, and that’s being generous. However, with COVID-19 restrictions affecting all the outdoor hobbies I love, it was time to get creative. My friends Brea, Madi, Daekyn and I decided to form a book club to keep us occupied while still finding time to talk to each other.

“My initial thoughts on starting a book club were that we would most likely disband after the first book,” Daekyn said, “but I was happy to be proven wrong.”

We weren’t the first ones with the idea, though. Celebrities and influencers have started posting books on all over their social platforms asking their audiences to leave recommendations. Since then, book clubs have been popping up all over my feed.

“It’s crazy to see people asking for members to the book club they’re starting,” Brea said. “I haven’t spent this much money on books in a long time.”

According to the BBC, this quarantine book frenzy has caused a 400 percent increase in online book sales. The Financial Times reports daily jumps of between $4,000 and $140,000 since the start of the lockdown, with the most popular genres being fiction and education books.

            Since the start of my book club, we have read eight books as a group. We read about one book a week, and then we hold a Sunday meeting to discuss our thoughts and feelings.

“I really look forward to every Sunday because it’s our designated day to connect with each other regardless of how far apart we are,” Daekyn said.

“Having a consistent meeting has been nice so we don’t drift apart, since I’m on the other side of the country,” Madi said.

Members take turns selecting a book for the coming week. We switch up genres, varying from non-fiction to historical fiction, often focusing on social themes such as racial injustice.

            “My favorite thing so far about book club has been seeing what books each of us like to read and how they differ from genres that I personally like,” Daekyn said.

I won’t lie and say that jumping into this was easy or that the natural reader inside of me simply took over. Getting into the spirit of reading was gradual process. Usually, I have to force myself to read, but this was going to be for fun. I’m used to moving through things quickly, and I had to reteach myself to enjoy sitting down to read. I finally found a rhythm by the second or third book and started longing for that quiet time of reading by myself in my room.

Doing this book club became the new sense of routine that I had been secretly longing to have. Starting this book club, I have transferred over the time management and patience I’ve been practicing and applied it directly to schoolwork and lectures. Being able to break that need to constantly check those cell phone and spend countless hours on Tik Tok is exactly what everyone could do to break the quarantine laziness and get those minds working again.

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