I was a bookish kid. That's perhaps putting it mildly. I always had my nose in a book. Visited the library with my dad on a weekly basis. Spent hours in my room reading. The only physical fight I ever got into was with a neighbor's kid who pulled my book from my hands and threw it across the yard. And, aside from my family, I never found anyone who seemed to love books the way I did.
Until I joined Readerville.
I had been hanging around Salon's Table Talk, posting only occasionally. There were a lot of smart, funny people there...people who seemed to love books the way I did...but it was sort of intimidating. But then I heard about this new place. I don't remember now if some kind soul on Table Talk told me about it or I just picked up on the hints and came to check it out, but it immediately felt like home.
Maybe that's was because I was there pretty much at the beginning. But I'm more inclined to think that it was Karen Templer's influence. And all the wonderful people who post there. Oh yeah, there are a few people who can make my eyes roll back in my head...there are people like that everywhere. (And on any given day, the list of eye-rollers can change.) But for the most part, Readerville participants are smart, witty, kind, generous and (most importantly) bookish people. They feel like family. These are people who love books.
The Readerville forum is going through some changes right now. The forums may be disappearing in their current form. The Journal, which for a couple of years was a wonderful print magazine, is now an on-line magazine. I don't understand Web economics. I don't understand why some sites attract corporate sponsorship or become widely successful to the point of having people line up to join. I don't understand why Karen isn't rolling to the bank in her gold-plated Maserati for having come up with Readerville. Maybe there just aren't that many people who love books in the world. And that makes me sad.
But if you like books....check out the Journal. It's free and interesting and if you want to comment on an article, it's as easy as commenting on a blog post. But if you love looking at book covers and deciding what makes one work and the other not....if you want to talk about The Sound and the Fury, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Dickens or religious writings...if your jones is poetry or history or science...if you love punning...if you want to talk gardens, movies or television or pets....if you need a recommendation to wow your next book club meeting or just want to know if Elizabeth George's last mystery is worth reading, check the forums at Readerville out.
Heck, if you just want to hang out with some smart, witty, kind, generous, bookish people...come join us in the forum. You might feel awkward for a day or two. But pretty soon...I think it'll feel like home.
So happy birthday, Readerville. Happy birthday, Karen. Here's to many more years to come...in whatever format we find ourselves.