Erin Louise:

This year on Birdlessly, we will be testing a range of new ideas on the magazine; one of these is our category projects. Currently, we have Emma Kayani’s ORIGINS series running for our Short Film category and we are interested in hosting similar series for the rest of our sectors. Supporting our creative and editorial content, these projects will be lead by team members and external creators, the first of which is the brand new Creative Writing’s Birdlessly Book Club.

Introduced by Emma, our House Filmmaker, the book club will be reading and discussing a new book of choice each month. At the end of each month, we will finish by discussing our thoughts on the novel as well as announcing the next book.

I’m really excited to support wider reading on Birdlessly; I’ve found that I hardly read at all in 2016 and I’d like to change that this year, as well as shake up my picky taste when it comes to what book to read.

Join the club by reading along with us and share your thoughts on this month’s book in the comments section below; also, you can join our Goodreads group here! We’d love to respond to your comments in our next post, so we’ll be looking out for what you’ve got to say!

Emma:

In 2016, I did not read a single book start to finish. My relationship with reading has been an interesting one; when I was younger, I do not remember being read to or having a great interest in reading (nope, I’ve never read Harry Potter, please don’t hate me!!). But I’ve always been a self learner, and one day in my mid-teens, I decided I wanted to be a reader. I wanted to be able to enjoy reading an young adult book. Since 2012, I can tell you how many books I have read, and compared to how many there are out there, my numbers are dismal, but that does not faze me and my ambition.

Life happened as it always does and I lost the passion and excitement to pick up a book and finish it. I blamed others but really it was me. I have a few unread books on my shelf that have gathered dust, leaving me to feel guilty every time I look over. In June, I had a revelation, and it may seem like an obvious sentiment, that you should read books you’re excited about.

I was a collector of books I was not enthusiastic about and there lay my problem.

I went out and bought three new novels that I had had my eye on for months, and I’ve found my reading speed increase and my dedication to finish more novels grow. Along with my small revelation, I also felt compelled to start a ‘book club’, a tribe, a community in which I could practise my favourite thing after I finish a book, that is, to dissect every part of it! To do so with friends, with strangers, with people who are reading the book in real time.

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway is the first book in this newly proposed book club. I hadn’t planned to choose this book, but as you do in a bookshop, you browse and are mysteriously drawn to each corner and soon you discover a book you have always wanted to delve into and experience. I love reading a classic; I’m keen to know what all the fuss is about, and ever since watching The Hours, this book has been on my to be read list. I hope, with all the books  we will read together, that I can finish it and that I can take something valuable away from what I read.

In July, Birdlessly Book Club will be reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Join the club and pick up a copy at a book shop and support local business! Or – borrow the book from a library! Want to share your thoughts? Comment below or in our Goodreads group and we’ll respond in our next post! Happy reading! 📚