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August 15, 2008 11:51 AM Subscribe
How do I meet other bookish people in New York City?
I’ve finally accepted the fact that I’ll eventually need to attend grad school in English to satisfy my curiosity and bookish ambitions (and to lead a more enriched life paying off my debts) but I’m going stir-crazy in the meantime. I want to meet people who genuinely care about literature and magazine journalism, though not necessarily Mary Wilkie-types. I meet great people who seem to like reading, in terms of whatever they tote around on the subway, but I think they find me a tad pretentious. Then I feel like a jerk and try to curb that side of my personality as much as I can, but I’d also like to meet my own kind who won’t judge me for getting worked up about James Wood’s new lit crit tome.
Right, I know that “Book clubs” are the way to go, but I’ve been to about four since moving to Brooklyn and they struck me as glorified social gatherings in which the members caught up with friends they only see once a month. I didn’t want to be a schoolmarm about it, but conversation seemed to only peripherally pertain to the reading itself. And I know I’m being a hypocrite, because I want friends who will talk about books as much I want to talk about books themselves, but no one seemed especially rigorous in their desire to discuss the material.
I know Chicago has a great program where lay folk can sign up to take a class lead by a professor (I think last year they had Ulysses), and I’d love something similar. Popular bars, good book festivals, and any local blogs that list literary events would be much appreciated.