“I want to read punchier books”: An Update

Amy Tan The Joy Luck ClubHello readers,

I know the book club hasn’t gone over very well. I’ve still been reading The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan for this month, but the podcast, though I’m still interested in doing that, died very abruptly and I don’t know when, or if, it will be coming back. I’m caught between wanting to take this project slowly and also having so many ideas to ramp it up I just want to get going full steam ahead.

But, in saying that, I know I need a certain amount of longterm commitment attached to this, and that’s where I’m stumbling. I’ve discovered that I’m terrified of longterm commitments, that I might decide I want something different after I’ve put forth effort into establishing something more with all of this. Basically, I’m afraid I’m going to flake when the stakes are much higher, so instead of planning this out properly, I’ve tried to wing the whole thing, which hasn’t been working. (Naturally.)

Since I started Soda City Reads, I’ve wanted to quit so many times, but I keep making myself push through it, because I know if I quit I will just want to start it up again later when I’m not feeling so scared by everything. One thing The Joy Luck Club is teaching me is that we have to stand up to our emotional and mental demons, and that often these demons are attached to real people in our lives who don’t know how they’ve affected us. I think we do ourselves and the people in our lives a disservice when we constantly try to outrun these ghosts.

Books make me insurmountably happy and yet I’m also afraid of their power, it seems. Whether I’m reading one or trying to write one or attempting to draw people together around one. So I want to make it simpler for myself: I love books and I want to share my love for books with the people in my community. That’s it. Besides, brands can grow and develop and completely change as they age. But today this is Soda City Reads and, if nothing else, it’s wonderful to see other readers in and around Columbia giving love and attention to books.

Even if you’re not reading The Joy Luck Club this month, I’m glad to be able to share what you are reading. As for the end-of-year book club picks, I’m still going to be reading them and thinking of how to better organize and capitalize on the selections in the future. As I told my friend, Laura, of the Werdsmerths Thursday night as we were catching up at Bourbon, “I want to read punchier books,” so for next year I will definitely keep that sentiment in mind for how I decide on the selections. For now, enjoy your book stacks and enjoy your Sunday.



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