Tuesday, September 11, 2007
What is bookleaves, you ask?
It's the name of my treasured book club.
When I first came to Korea in 1998, everything was so different and alien: people, places, custom and culture. Being a Korean and looking like one but not having lived in it does make a huge difference. Making friends and meeting people, probably was one of the hardest thing to do. Fortunately though, I did start attending a school and tried to get involved. So for a while the urgency of being in a book club wasn't that important, since I was reading on my own time and was busy sorting out some troublesome part of my life (there were some personal issues to be handled back then).
Anyhow, when I finally brought myself to look for a group, and yes there was one that I did find, I didn't get a single reply for months. That really got me worked up and decided 'heck, I'll make my own, surely there must be people out there who'd be interested in joining a book club'. And YES! there was. After putting the ad for some months out in the classified section I finally started getting emails from people who were interested and we decided to meet up to talk about making it real. Our first meeting was in June 2005.
The meeting was great there were about 6 people to start off with and we first decided on a book and the next meeting date. Then we made a group in Yahoo! in order to get in touch with people easily. I constantly got emails from people who were interested and some came, some never showed up. Many of our members have left Korea and our little club after completing their contract and at the same time many have joined.
Our group is practically open to everyone and anyone. The only thing that we ask for is that the person who joins must love to read and discuss about it. Yes, it has been my experience that some people join for the purpose of practicing English and that does irritate me a lot and sometimes I feel like I'm discriminating my own race. However, the whole purpose of this group, the reason I made this group is to get people who enjoy reading and discussing about books together. As well as meeting people from all walks of life and share thoughts and talk about everyday life. A club where you can relax and be comfortable in.
It has been over 2 years since the group's been active and I think we're doing pretty good with it. There has been a lot of change in members but still I think the groups doing great. If any of you out there who live in Korea, near Seoul to be exact, please don't hesitate to come by our group. We usually meet once a month, sometimes twice, depending on the book, and people's schedule. It's always a Sunday and we're pretty flexible on time, though we tend to lean towards the earlier hours of the afternoon. At the meeting we usually hang around at a coffee shop talk about the book of the meeting and other books that we'd like to share. Then depending on the time and how hungry everyone is we get a bite to eat. The decision on what to read depends on the members, sometimes we take turns and at other times we talk about it think of a whole bunch of books we're interested in and choose from that pile. We always decide about 3 or 4 books and the date respectively so that we don't make plans on those dates and we can all be there.
To find out more about the group, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org