More reasons to read

July 6, 2018

I’ve always been excited about reading, but this summer I’ve been even more excited about it than ever before.

My enthusiasm is all due to the Great American Read sponsored by PBS.

Because of this event, bookstores and libraries all across the nation are putting up special displays about the 100 featured books, they are hosting readings and book clubs dedicated to these novels, and, most importantly, they are getting people to read great literature.

Social sites are exploding to discuss the books along with other aspects of reading.

I mentioned last month that I had joined a Facebook group called The Great American Read Book Club.

I was one of the early members when there were only about 2,000 members. Now there are over 32,000, and the membership is growing every day! It’s been amazing to be a part of a group of like-minded people whose only objective is to talk about books, and they’ve stuck firmly to that objective – no politics or negativity allowed.

MEMBERS ADD to the PBS-led discussion of the target novels, but they also go far beyond that to discuss books in all genres and for all ages and to share photographs and reading-inspired ideas.

I’ve contributed comments to many discussions and even shared photos of my entire collection of Pulitzer Prize winning fiction books and of a page in my books-read journal.

Due to this nationwide event and my membership in this online reading group, I’ve expanded my home library considerably and read books I probably wouldn’t have.

I’ve also learned of so many other great books and authors that were previously unknown to me simply by occasionally checking my Facebook feed because it’s now full of posts about reading. Color me happy!

Some members have started to-be-read lists based upon the online posts and commentary about books, but I haven’t yet done that because there are so many great ideas, and my own list is already too long.

One member did mention, though, that her TBR list was over 10 pages long just off recommendations from other members. That’s a list she’ll never complete!

JUST A quick perusal of some of the recent posts and comments gives me not only reading suggestions but also travel destinations for the literary person, ways to read books to small children, authors who write like Maeve Binchy, thoughts about finding grammar/spelling errors in books, people who color-coordinate their bookmarks to match the covers of the books they’re reading, and over 400 recommendations for a reader needing some uplifting literary fiction.

Not only am I getting lots of enjoyment out of being a member of this club, I’m also getting great ideas for future columns!

If you’re not yet familiar with the Great American Read, please go to the library or online and learn more about it. Then join me and the thousands (or millions) of other readers who are taking part in it.

If you’re so inclined and have a Facebook account, then please join the book club dedicated to this amazing event, and if you do, find me and let me know you’re also a member. There’s always room for another reader.

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This month’s reading selection is “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Contact Marshall at tamreader@gmail.com

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