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The Book Club – part 1

In our household, we have a strong love of reading, libraries and the Dewey decimal system. We’ve always read to the girls pretty much every night since they were born; it’s a lovely routine to end the day. At the height of the pandemic, we had regular Zoom storytime with Grandma in the far north; we should really pick that up again, the girls loved it, and I’m sure Grandma did as well.

Whenever the weather turns sour, we hit our local library; so yes, we are there quite a bit. There are fights over who gets to grab the mouse and search for new books.

Turns out, we are avid book borrowers but not as strong on returns, with Marigold racking up over $100 in fines last year for missing-in-action books. Luckily, we got a pandemic pardon on those.

Théolinda’s first year of school was in Australia, where there was a strong and determined focus on literacy. She was up and running in no time, and her love of reading was born.

Bookworm

A total bookworm, she devours entire books in one hit. Her library list is always huge, and she basically borrows as many books as we can physically carry home. She starts reading the minute we walk out the library door and has developed a real skill of walking and reading at the same time.

As we courageously head into the tween years, I’m sure she’ll soon start shopping at H&M, instead of just standing there and reading whilst I shop; but for now, we’re good.

To keep her smart, and to keep her reading instead of scrolling, she does not have a smart phone. Now, she’s started writing her own book, The Doll, a thriller. I, of course, find this thrilling. She’ll probably finish her first book, before I even start mine.

Enter Elsa, who loves a good story, and is coming along with her reading. When I saw that our local library was starting a book club for nine- to twelve-year-olds, I signed her up. What a great way to encourage her learning journey and give her reading confidence.

Or so I thought.

Book Club book #1

Gosh that IS quite a book, I thought as the librarian handed me the weighty book. A thick book ladened with language more suited for academia. With its lengthy sentence structure, Proust would be proud.

Our heads still in the book club sky, we dived in and started to read. Oh dear Lord, we struggled. Night after night, we would conquer one page; how would we ever make it through the other 3, 376 pages in time?

The language was difficult and most the time I had no idea what was happening. I passive aggressively wrote to the librarian sharing my surprise at the choice of book, then promptly handed all book-club book responsibilities over to the Swede.

Praise be, we found the book on Storytell! Saved by audio books! We would make it to the end of the book, just in time for our first Zoom book club meeting.

Digital Book Club

Soon after, the book club met; she loved it. Led by two wonderful librarians, the small gang of readers shared their thoughts over the characters and storyline. Although mainly 12-year-olds, Elsa held her ground and really got into it. The next time the book club meets would be in person and there would be cake. Things were looking up.

At the end, the librarian said the next book would be shorter, and easier to read.

Or so she said.

Up next: Book Club book #2 – watch as the disaster unfolds.

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