After the RRL book club session last October 24, Jenny, one of the participants, enthusiastically approached us and volunteered to write a post-event article. The joy overflows in her writing as she recalls her university days through the book club.
The Movement of Words
By Jennilyn Q. Salvador
Before I accidentally chanced upon the Revisiting Required Literature (RRL) Book Club in Fully Booked, I had never seriously entertained the thought of joining a book club. Even though it may sound like a dire irony of sorts for someone whose life had so much revolved around books, the truth is that I didn’t actually see the need for it before. Reading isn’t just hobby; it’s a lifestyle. It’s the reason I’ve stayed up more nights than I care to count, trying to finish just one more chapter. It’s the reason I gravitate towards libraries and bookstores even when I’m in foreign cities, and why books figure high on my wish list on any particular day. It’s the reason behind the major I chose (I took Literature) and why I decided to pursue the career I have (I’m a writer).
When I was in university there was really no urgency to it, not when my major classes entailed animated lectures of some of the world’s most noted literary works and casual hang outs with classmates spelled out even more books to read and discuss. After graduation, though, something happened – life happened. And I found out that my intricate world of written fantasies slowly unravelled to give way to a reality that stretched far beyond the confines of pages bound together. And while reading still figures prominently in my life, I can’t help but wish that it would one day weave itself back into a more structured pattern, rather than the delightful loose threads I have right now.
That was when I happened to glance at the RRL Book Club poster inside Fully Booked, and I knew I just had to sign up for it. There’s just something very awesome in finding something I didn’t know I was looking for in the first place.
Last October 24, just a mere few days after I hastily made a last-minute registration, I found myself arriving at the Forum much earlier than the scheduled 7 PM start, to find the room with chairs fashioned in a circle, a small table on the corner for coffee, and a flip board being set up. It was like being in a classroom again and I felt like a student after 10 years – a student who wanted to draw as little attention to herself as possible. I was giddy with excitement at my first ever book club meeting, but I was also nervous because it’s been literally a decade since I last touched a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the assigned reading for that evening, and I only had vague recollections of it. It was a bit synonymous to going back to school after a long holiday, trying vainly to have more concrete memories of your assignment.
But my mild apprehension morphed into pleasant surprise when the moderator John-D Borra took the floor, amiably giving out copies of some memorable lines from the book which triggered the main discussion points of the casually insightful 2-hour session. It was heady, feeling the words come alive almost as though they were forming lives of their own. Even with heavy lapses in my memory, it was easy to get immersed in the discussion. Great literature, after all, tends to do that. That’s why I’m very much looking forward to the next RRL session on November 24, when Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury will take center stage. If my first book club session was any indication, it promises to be a lucid movement of words, and it’s one I’ll happily follow.
About the author:
Jenny is a freelance writer and a part-time English teacher. When not in front of the laptop or inside a classroom, she loves to catch up on much-needed sleep, hit the road, and indulge in good eats.