An (Ambitious) Alternative to Book Group


| 5/12/2008 11:18:48 AM


Book Club Meeting

The idea of joining a book group can make some readers cringe—the distractions of food, kids, and pets, and a scant hour or two in which to discuss the themes of an entire novel or the intricacies of a nonfiction argument. For dedicated readers, “paired book reading” could be a more satisfying way to tackle a text.

In the “Best of Books” issue of Canadian environmental magazine Alternatives Journal (article not available online), two friends explain their quirky system. The retired men read separately, employing color-coded underlining: green for environmental passages, red for “vital” passages, and yellow (or black) for anything that catches the eye on first reading. Then, they get together for painstaking, detailed discussions of the text, meeting for two hours at a time.

“It can take a couple of years to go through a book,” the men admit, so paired reading is not a commitment every book-group escapee will want to make. For those willing to take the plunge, the friends advise choosing books that stimulate discussion (they enjoy authors James Lovelock, E.O. Wilson, and Thomas Berry, among others) and ditching works that are too arcane or prompt “only head-nodding agreement.”

Image by Bart, licensed under Creative Commons.





Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter