Book Club: Laps & Livres
What you need to know:
I belong to Laps and Livres, a swimming and reading group. I started it in 2021 as a community of readers. I wouldn’t call it a book club as such because we don’t have a group read.
I started reading as a kid. I can’t remember when I was not a voracious reader. I have the opportunity to read books like So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba for its great writing and its piercing insights and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw.
Like a lot of people, I read to escape, learn, travel through cultures and new worlds and connect with folks across time and place.
The number of books I read in a given month is hugely dependent on my moods. Sometimes, I read more than 15 books other times I read six. I create time to read by carving out time—I have blocked out 45 minutes every night to read in which I also integrate audiobooks.
I belong to Laps and Livres, a swimming and reading group. I started it in 2021 as a community of readers. I wouldn’t call it a book club as such because we don’t have a group read. We meet every fortnight at a swimming pool, swim as we chat about books between laps, and then have lunch together where we talk about books we’ve enjoyed, exchange and recommend books to one another, and generally surround ourselves with bookish people.
There is a core group of six people but we have others who frequently join in. Seeing as there is no group read, we explore all sorts of genres. Last year I suggested on Twitter and in WhatsApp groups that we form a low pressure, fun group that hinged on shared interests. We have been meeting since with a small break over Christmas.
In The graphic memoir by Ellen Forney titled _MARBLES: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir, she talks about how being part of an intentional group had done wonders for her mental health. This inspired me to start the club.