Alternative Book Clubs

New & exciting app to try this Winter

I’ve been thinking about the blog I wrote a while back about the 25 pages way to get through a big, intimidating book – slow but steady. Recently I discovered an app that does something similar and I’m hooked already. The app is called Pigeonhole and it sends you a “stave” from a book each day – basically about 20 to 30 minutes of reading. It takes you back to the Victorian era when people like Dickens wrote their novels in installments. It was their equivalent of our soap operas. A short passage keeping you hooked to come back the next time.


Pigeonhole is like that. It releases a couple of chapters and then emails you when the next ones are ready. But that’s silly you say, just get the book and read what you want! There is something about only having access to part of the story. The free books on Pigeonhole are all readily available for free on Gutenberg or Amazon but a large part of the attraction is that other people are reading along at the same time, so you get emails saying what people think of a passage or an idea. It feels like you’re part of something huge. And I think that’s what the developers have stumbled on to – we love talking about what we are reading!poetryschool_logo

The Poetry School runs various online courses on particular poets or themes and there is very engaged debate amongst the participants about the notes put up each session. I get so much more out of my copy of Ariel by Sylvia Plath since I took one of the courses and saw the poems through the eyes of other students, all of them better readers than me of the allusions and metaphors in her work. Although reading is often seen as an introverted hobby, and something that you do on your own, it is also a real pleasure to connect with other readers and argue or agree about what makes books great. Or at least I think so.


What about you?