Nerdy Book Club Nation by Holly Goldberg Sloan
I start with the thought that I wish as I typed this I were wearing a t-shirt that said Nerdy Book Club.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if instead of proclaiming our love for local sports teams (and I say this as a person who loves the NFL and the Los Angeles Clippers), we all daily showed our allegiance to book clubs, bookstores and libraries?
I see suddenly a world where an entire society is divided by their favorite book lists, book bloggers, and library programs.
Allegiances to authors would inspire cities to pass bond measures to build bigger and grander stadiums (I mean libraries) to hold their collections. Skyboxes would be erected for those with money to burn and a passion for reading in more comfy seating with food and beverage service available from a wait staff.
There would be banners and bumper stickers. Flags to fly on cars. Mascots. Even cheerleaders and yell kings.
And on one fine Sunday at the end of every January, a national championship would take place. Corporations from around the globe would gather seeking to promote their brands in front of the rapt global audience of book lovers.
The biggest musical acts would vie to perform midway through the event. Springsteen or the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney would play as fireworks exploded. The main event would honor prowess in reading. And writing. Self-expression. With maybe a special area devoted to the fine art of bookmark making.
There could be tailgating in the parking lot beforehand. Families could grill food and toss books at each other. Face paint depicting book covers would be applied and enthusiastic men could take off their shirts (even in freezing weather) and start chants that would echo into the crisp air.
I feel that “Go, Veronica Roth!” would be a favorite cry. Signs would be held up reading “John Green 3:16.” Kiss-cams would catch real life writing couples—say Melissa de la Cruz and Mike Johnston– going at it from their seats.
Little kids would watch at home and fantasize that if they read, and wrote and worked hard on syntax and finding their unique voice, fame and fortune might follow.
Would mothers worry that too much time was spent late at night with noses buried inside books and mobile reading devices? Injuries to the neck and strained eyesight would be discussed with expert panels assembled with their own channel on television where 24 hours a day, seven days a week they would breakdown the current state of writers’ psyche.
Who had writer’s block? Disappointing second outings? Sequels without merit? Who was a free agent? What book would dominate the landscape in the next season?
And the fans, from the most casual to the die-hards would know the stats. The number of pages in each book. The backstory on the road to publication. The role of the editor. The agent. The release date. The difference between the hardcover art and the paperback.
It would all be hallowed ground.
Finally, there would be a Hall of Fame. National voting would take place with the tally split between the public, and the experts. Families would build entire vacations around the prospect of seeing the memorabilia. J.K. Rowling’s first word processor would be the holy grail. Harper Lee’s notebook would inspire songs and sermons. Kids around the country would enter competitions using yarn to attempt to duplicate Charlotte’s Web. The winner would face the yarn web-makers from Japan, and the contest would be televised on cable and network.