Building reading communities and ‘books in common’

Cremin, Teresa (2018). Building reading communities and ‘books in common’. NAAE.



Are you a member of any reading communities? Do you attend a local book group perhaps? Or participate in the community of avid teacher-readers on Twitter? And do you see yourself as a member of your classroom reading community? Is there one?

Personally, I’ve been a member of the same book group for over 20 years and even though we moved away a decade ago, I still drive back each month. Our debates are often very vehement- some loved, some loathed A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara for instance (it is harrowing), but after the deliberation we live with our differences and move on. We spend time relating the text to our lives and sharing triggered anecdotes, and we discuss the author’s intent, their character construction, language, style and the cultural and historical context of the text. Our personal and emotional responses though receive much more air time. We also connect the book to others we’ve read, invoking our history and ‘books in common’ as a group, and we drink a lot of wine! As adults and as readers we know each other well – a strong sense of connection and community exists. Possibly some of this chimes with your book group?

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