Long live the online book club

When you’re engrossed in a good book nothing else matters. You could be chilled to the bone, within earshot of a cacophony of noise, or being tossed around like a rag doll in a train carriage, but it’s still not enough to disturb that bubble. That’s one of reading’s many beauties: the opportunity for escapism.

But what’s it going to take for you to pick up that book? You know, the one that might help you finish that essay, broaden your horizons, or increase your earning potential? The one we make elaborate excuses for not reading?

I believe this where an online book reading platform like Readmill has huge potential.

Picking up the book you know you should be reading

Buying or borrowing a book on a subject may seem a significant rung up the ladder, but acquiring it is just about the easy part. The real test is when it’s sitting neatly on your bookshelf or desk, or loaded into your Ebook reader, and has been for some time. Who or what is going to push you to prize open that cover?

Learning amongst others, particularly in an academic setting, should be just about ideal. But how often did our required reading largely consists of big, heavy textbooks laden with hundreds of pages with tiny type and an equally uninspiring cover? This coupled with an unfortunate feeling that many of your contemporaries weren’t taking things as seriously as they could was enough to cause that initial late summer buzz to wilt by late autumn.

Frustration and panic can provide short jolts. If you work yourself up into a mood you can do just about anything, but that’s hardly the ideal frame of mind for taking in information. This often feels more like some sort of punishment.

Waiting for a chance to question a book can work. Instead of moving from cover to cover you use it as a reference; relying on the strength of its index to dip in and out when the time arises. But how do you know if the real solution you’re looking for is not on the page you’ve already read and understood but on a page you haven’t?

It matters not that this book may make a great deal of difference to your circumstances. It’s hard work reading when your mind wants to wander off in search of more appealing and safer subjects; when your focus and concentration drifts in and out, causing you to revisit whole passages you’ve failed to take in.

Making time for reading–particularly if it follows a regular pattern–obviously helps. Half an hour once a day is a good deal better than three and a half late on a Sunday. And being good to yourself afterwards can also provide the motivation to attack unappealing text with added vigour.

But how about sharing these issues and your book-reading progress with others trying to do precisely the same thing? Discussing a book amongst people with different views, backgrounds, and experience can enhance your understanding of a subject. And, by the same token, sharing your highlights and insights can alert others to things they may have missed or didn’t consider important at the time.

They’ll help push you just as much as you’ll help push them.

[Image credit: book sale look by ginnerobot]

One thought on “Long live the online book club

  1. Matthew Bostock

    Amen, Richard!
    We’re all keeping a close eye on your progress here at Readmill HQ ;)

    All the best, and enjoy!
    – Matt.