Saturday, July 17, 2004

Girl's group

My position as bookseller brings me into contact with many people and with their taste in reading. Among the things I've discovered is that girls at puberty and a few years after possess a particular brilliance for the absorbtion and understanding and, most to the point, loving literature of unbelievable complexity and depth. I've recently invited a number of girls aged 12 to 16 to join a book club which meets monthly and which discusses books of a difficulty and importance which might surprise many adults. We all read one book together and if anyone wants to read more they may select other books from The Big List(thrown together from books which have moved me deeply over my 57 years). We have few rules. No one has to finish the book. Competition is discouraged. Over and over again it is stressed that this is "NOT SCHOOL". If someone is not enjoying a particular book they may choose another and report to the group on it, perhaps encourage others to read it.
The parents were consulted and asked one question. Do you think your daughter will be harmed by anything she reads. If the answer is NO it's a go. So far we all seem to be having a wonderful time. They have read The Deptford Trilogy, Of Human Bondage(see earlier post), Birdy, Ridley Walker, Cold Comfort Farm and a few others I can't remember. Be on the lookout for future Girls' Reading Group postings.
Mister Nouse

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