Book Club kickoff: We’re reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Welcome to the very first edition of the Book Club by Numlock!

First things first: the votes are in and we’re going to read  The Library Book by Susan Orlean. I’m really excited about this book, I grabbed a copy and read ahead a bit and it’s a really fun one. It feels fitting to kick off a book club with a book about buildings full of books, and the people who may or may not have burned one down. 

If you voted for one of the other books, don’t worry, they’ll be up again next vote. By then I’ll try to be true-to-form and roll out ranked choice voting so we can do it Oscars-style. 

This will come out on Saturdays but the ensuing conversation can last however long you want. Most posts will be vastly shorter than this: a couple of questions to riff on and chat about, the plan for the following week, and an invitation to hop into the discussion thread. On that note, comment on this post! 

By next Saturday, try to pick up a copy of the book — from your library, from your local independent bookstore*, from Amazon, whatever works for you — and this time just read the first 30 pages, which is the first two chapters. That’s just so we can get the ball rolling while accommodating shipping times and what not. 

Here’s the goal with this project. 

I enjoy reading books, but as an internet user in 2019 I tend to find that I spend lots of time on the immediate news, which can at times be shall we say overbearing. The science is still out on all this, but I don’t really enjoy what that does to my brain? Every time I read a solid book, I always think “why on earth am I just not doing this all the time” and then, like two days later, I’m just looking at a cascading Tweetdeck when there’s a solid stack of paper in arm’s reach that would probably leave my head in a better place. 

So this is just as much for me as it is for y’all, a reminder that I should be reading more because it’s treating myself, like when I do guided meditation for the first two weeks of the new year, but without the giving up. 

Think of it as a recurring social club / weekly encouragement to read something good / opt-in read-along. 

Main thing that I’d love to get across is that this will be really discussion-based. Sometime along the way Reddit accidentally ate all the internet forums, and I miss them. I think Substack is neat in that regard and it’s their cool discussion thread feature that will be hosting the conversation. I’ve seen it in action a few times and it’s downright pleasant. So please, participate, toss in your opinions. Hundreds of y’all voted on the books so I know you have feelings and don’t be shy, just be cool. And don’t hesitate to forward this to folks who may enjoy it, the more the merrier.

Thanks for signing up and let’s kick it off in the comments below: what is a library that means something to you? 

*Full disclosure, we’re doing this Wirecutter style and if you buy through one of these links they’ll kick us a small percentage of the sale. Don’t feel any pressure to buy through these links — seriously, try the library — but if you do, I just wanted to be on the level.