Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A New Journey

I've seen the hashtags on Twitter: #bookvoyage, #bookjourney, #bookrelay. Groups of teachers and authors who form nationwide book clubs, jotting their thinking on sticky notes in the books, sending them on to the next member, connecting through them. People who love books form a tribe and share their love of reading.

"What could be better?" I thought to myself, wondering how on earth I could start one or become a part of one. This blog post from Phil Bildner, the author of the (totally amazing) Rip & Red series and member of the #bookjourney crew, helped me clarify how their group started, grew, and flourished. But I still couldn't crack the code of how to become "part of a tribe." Insecurity was part of it. Will a group want me? Am I cool enough? Do I have enough to offer?

Then, as though in answer to those questions, I saw that the #bookexpedition group was looking for new members. Swallowing my insecurity, I asked if I could join. I felt like the new kid at school, timidly bringing my lunchbox over to the cool kids' table, wondering if I could eat with them.  The creator of the group, Erin Varley, graciously allowed me to join, along with a couple of other newbies. We are now a tribe of about a dozen teachers and writers, book lovers all.

This new - ahem - expedition I am taking has already changed me as a reader, and as a writer about my reading. I'm reading with a new purpose: to share my thinking with others. I am writing with clarity, with the knowledge that others in my tribe will add their thoughts to mine as our books travel around the country. I am paying more attention to the characters, how they grow and change, and to the symbolism and figurative language authors use to convey their message. I am more connected to the characters. In short, the books are a more emotional experience, because I am sharing them with others.

I just finished my first book for the #bookexpedition crew. Ruth Behar's Lucky Broken Girl will be heading out with a bunch of green sticky notes in it! Next up, Rob Buyea's Perfect Score! I am really looking forward to receiving my first sticky-noted book so I can bask in the thoughts of my fellow book lovers.

I am incredibly grateful to be part of a tribe. Erin, Katie, Mike, Patrick, Amy, Laura, Alexa, Cheryl, Cara, Susan, and Michelle, thank you for helping me grow as we begin this journey together!


7 comments:

  1. This sounds really fun! I would love to do something like this!

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    1. It's really great! I'd highly recommend starting your own book tribe. I was on my way to doing so until I lucked out with this group. I wish we could add more people, but capping at around a dozen is a good idea, because it gets really hard to manage.

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    2. Hey, Carol... what's your Twitter handle? I have another Twitter friend who's interested in starting a book group, and she has lots of ARCs she wants to start passing around. I'd like to connect the two of you if you're interested.

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  2. What a fun way to share thinking about books. Glad you're in the tribe and looking forward to your first sticky-noted book.

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    1. I just sent my first book off - sticky-noted and all! It's been a marvelous experience!

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  3. Lorie, we are so lucky to have you! Glad you joined our crew and can't wait to share more books with you!

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    1. I feel EXACTLY the same way, Katie! I'm overjoyed to be sharing books with such wonderful people!

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