Day 5: Let’s read

by | Oct 11, 2016 | 100 Days Of Play | 0 comments

My monthly book group – with extra laughter

I’ve grown so used to my monthly book group, that each time I read a book I’m thinking about what I’ll say about it when I discuss it. This makes for a sad time when it isn’t my book group book, as I realise that I won’t be able to share thoughts and hear other people’s opinions on it. Reading is fun, but to me it’s even better done with friends.

Up this month was How Much The Heart Can Hold. It’s a collection of seven stories about different types of love, as defined by the ancient Greeks. Each one is by a different author, and every one of them chose to take a wry / sideways / alternative look at the conception of love they’d been commissioned to write on. It actually makes for a fantastic little collection, and I’d recommended. We weren’t quite sure what Sceptre were going for in publishing it – short stories don’t sell, or so we’re told. But perhaps by going for something a little quirky, there’ll be punch-through.

“Book clubs are totally dope – like English class if you were allowed to read only books that you actually like and snack and sip while discussing them” ― Sam Maggs, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks

So what’s the real attraction of book groups? A few things to my mind:

  • Firstly, there’s an excuse to read, and be held accountable. Play (I might argue) is the action of applying focus and taking seriously an activity that might not generally be thought of as important (or might even be thought of as foolish), and we don’t always find time to read. So it helps you to make time for this form of Play. 
  • Secondly, it’s an excuse to socialise, to drink, and to spout off opinions in a safe environment
  • Thirdly, every book group I’ve ever been to is ‘anything goes’ – it’s a free space in which to play and experiment. One of my book group has become an expert in Unread Book-Group, where she reads the synopsis and then proceeds to expertly dissect the book, never having read it!

I find it a period of time fenced-off for fun, discussion, meandering chat and social interaction over alcohol. A period of play.

Ease of play: 2/10 (while you can get away with not reading, or talking, full participation requires quite a lot of input)

Resemblance to play: 5/10 (it’s not exactly your traditional game)

Aggression: Low-to-Medium (those discussions can get heated!)

Speed: Slow

Enjoyability: Medium-to-High

Potential frequency of play: Low (reading takes time!)

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