At a time when we are either staying meters apart from each other or isolating from one another, an online book club community might be what we need to bring us closer together.
This is what urged Kristelle Jimenez to start an online community for writers and book lovers. Kristelle— the founder of Rebo Press Book Publishing and author of Salamin: Mga Personal na Prosa and Anatomiya ng Pandemya— believes that an online book club is a bookworm’s perfect escape from isolation.
“Community Online Book Club was an initiative created out of necessity,” Kristelle tells My Pope Philippines. (Read: Ramil Sumangil Beats All Odds With ‘Books for a Cause’)
“Since the pandemic had roughly limit our access to physical spaces, I’ve decided to create an online space for people to read— provided with additional reading insights to make reading pleasurable,” she adds.
How Does It Work?
The online book club is available via Telegram. The readings are in PDF format and are provided ahead of time in order for the readers to have sufficient time to read the output. Anyone interested is encouraged to join the channel and group discussion.
“Since the book club is reading a single book, they will share their insights about it. It also provides a safe space for people to express their opinion on a particular material, without the unnecessary filters,” Kristelle explains. (Read: Miss Bookstores? Browse Through These Online Shops!)
She adds that they are planning to read book titles from international, local, and independent scenes. They are also interested in how readers relate to literature that has been produced outside of established or big publishing house.
“We also plan to invite the book club members to share with us what they are reading this May, so we can spread out the interest within the group and get a good vibe with the daily and weekly activities,” Kristelle shares.
Safe Space for Book Lovers
According to Kristelle, the purpose of the book club is to provide a nice and comfortable space and platform for readers to be themselves and to share their knowledge with likeminded people. (Read: Have You Read These Books by the Popes Yet?)
“We believe that people who genuinely love to read, even if it’s not every day, have great ideas worth sharing with others. Joining a book club is the first step in bringing that love of the books outside, to the world,” she adds.
Kristelle is also encouraging fellow writers or book lovers to replicate their initiative. As of writing, the online community book club already has 46 members.