While book clubs are very popular these days among adults and children, it was a new concept for some of us back then. There were probably a dozen of us who committed to read and meet to talk about our reading.
We chose the book, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.
Little did I know that my ideas about reading would change so drastically.
Little did I know that this book would leave an indelible mark on my heart.
Little did I know that I would feel so connected to the other readers in our book club.
I recently read a string of books that were not very satisfying. I even abandoned one book because I just could not read another page! I also have been listening to recorded books on my phone. I have tried in the past but have not been very successful. My mind would wander away from the story, and I would have to go back a few pages, or even a chapter, to maintain the thread of the narrative. I am getting better at listening.
So I made a commitment to find a book that I knew I would love and try to listen to it on my digital device. I chose to revisit Crossing to Safety. It's interesting what I have discovered:
I still love the story although now I am 30
years older and I am constructing a new
meaning to the narrative and responding
differently to the theme.
The story is a bit more melancholy now that I
am older and closer to the age of the characters.
I am building a deeper connection to the
characters and their struggles.
I can listen to a book digitally delivered and
can maintain my attention. I usually listen to
the story while I exercise at the gym. This has
presented a new challenge because I want to
mark the text and write down my response -
which is difficult to do when you are on the
tread mill! I also want to remember my favorite
lines and capture the well chosen words of
By choosing this book that had meant so much to me in the past and revisiting it at a later age, I have found a new connection and new meaning. I need to talk with those people who were in that initial book club.
What disappoints me the most is that I have listened to the story alone. Something is missing. The shared understanding. The conversations. The responses to the story as it unfolds. Friends talking about the book. I just may have to send out an invitation to get together over a cup of tea and talk about this book one more time.