April 16th, 2013

City Gallery Book Discussion Series

by cgindy


Ever since college, I have fantasized about the stacks of books that I would conquer during my free time post-graduation.  I imagined delving into the literary works of art that my twenty hour collegiate workload had not allowed for.  Works like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Anna Karenina, Seven Years in Tibet, Jayber Crow; the list goes on and on.

I was determined to expand my bookshelf with tattered, worn-out copies of these literary giants.   I, however, found myself overwhelmed with where to begin.  I quickly racked up large fines at the Indianapolis Public Library, as I always checked out more books than the allotted lending period permitted me to read.  In denial, I would avert my gaze from the books accumulating dust on my nightstand.

The idea of reading quickly shifted from a luxurious choice to a chore.  Library due dates started to feel like college homework deadlines.  My naive aspirations of becoming well-read disintegrated into a Netflix-watching frenzy, half-read books, late fines and mounting receipts from Indy Reads.

In need of a reading re-evaluation, I turned to the past. I remembered the mother-daughter book club my mom forced me to join in elementary school.   While those monthly meetings may not have been the highlight of my sixth grade social calendar, they instilled in me a desire to read.  Enabling my imagination to take-off, I escaped into the worlds of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Willa Cather, Corrie Ten Boom, and other strong female authors.  I realized I needed a grownup version, a book club where I had the monthly accountability of my peers and other opinions to facilitate conversation.

At the time I was new to Indianapolis, hoping to meet others my age that wanted to connect over a good book.  Last fall, I initiated the City Gallery Book Discussion Group with the goal of connecting through literary discussion in the company of urban Indy dwellers.  This past autumn we met every week to tackle the large, daunting work of Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.  After reading Cat’s Cradle and The Great Gatsby this spring, we are pursuing East of Eden for the month of April.

It’s always a good mix each time the group meets.  The company is fun and the discussion is enlightening.  I bring questions to get the conversations started, but often it’s great to just sit back and hear others’ thoughts.

We are always open to new members.  I’ve met friends, checked books off my list, and may even need to buy a new bookshelf soon. I’ve discovered one way to continue to learn after graduation in an engaging process.  I hope you will consider joining the City Gallery Book Discussion Series.

If you are interested in joining, please send me an email, or you can find me this weekend at the Library picking up another book that, someday, I will read.

For more info about City Gallery Book Discussion Series contact Clara at citygallery@harrisoncenter.org.

by Clara Groene, City Gallery 2012-13 Cultural Entrepreneur Fellow