​John Green Has An Online Bookclub Called "Life's Library" Which Is Perfect For Your Quarantine Life
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​John Green Has An Online Bookclub Called "Life's Library" Which Is Perfect For Your Quarantine Life

John Green's been hosting a virtual book club through Discord for some time now, but during a pandemic when in-person meetings are on hold, it's become even more relevant as a way for people to connect from the comfort of their own homes.

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​John Green Has An Online Bookclub Called "Life's Library" Which Is Perfect For Your Quarantine Life
John Green/Rosianna Halse Rojas

I am a huge fan of John Green, and I learned a while ago about a virtual book club that he and Rosianna Halse Rojas host through Discord. It's called Life's Library, and their site can be found here. The site has been useful in the past for connecting people all over the world through a common love of reading, but during a time when we aren't able to hang out with our friends or attend our extracurriculars, virtual connections have become even more important.

The site linked above contains the link to the Discord server where all discussions are held, as well as a page containing info on the subscription process. There are several types of subscriptions available, which are detailed on the site as well as below.

1) Digital Subscription

The Digital Subscription to the club is $10 per reading cycle/$90 annually, and includes the following:

  • A letter from that session's curator detailing why they picked that book.
  • A reading guide with discussion questions.
  • A podcast discussion about the book between John and Rosianna.
  • 2-4 additional downloads which may include printable bookmark designs, author Q&As and more!
  • Note: the digital subscription does NOT include a copy of the book.

2) Physical Subscription

The Physical Subscription to the club is $25 per reading cycle/$225 annually, and includes the following:

  • All digital items.
  • Paperback copy of that session's book.
  • Introductory letter from John or Rosianna.
  • Bookplates for your home library.
  • A members-only item unique to that session's book.

3) Audiobook Subscription w/ Digital Perks

The Audiobook Subscription with the Digital Perks is $17 per reading cycle/$153 annually, and includes the following:

  • All digital subscription items.
  • Audiobook copy of each book through Libro.fm.

4) Audiobook Subscription w/ Physical Perks

The Audiobook Subscription with the Physical Perks is $25 per reading cycle/$225 annually and includes the following:

  • All digital subscription items.
  • All physical subscription items.
  • Audiobook copy of that session's book through Libro.fm.
  • (Note that this option does NOT include a paperback copy of the book)

5) Super Subscription

The Super Subscription is $35 per reading cycle/$315 annually and includes the following:

  • All digital subscription items.
  • All physical subscription items.
  • Paperback copy of that session's book.
  • Audiobook copy of that session's book through Libro.fm.

Subscriptions are by no means necessary, but they have perks and small gifts relevant to each cycle's book. To participate, all you need is a copy of the book for that cycle and a Discord account. There are also scholarships available that you can apply for, or if you have money to spend and are feeling generous, the site also has options for sponsoring subscriptions for those who can't afford them.

The server is too big for mass discussions, so members are divided into "shelves" (at this link), which serve as their discussion groups. Each shelf has an image, and you choose the one you are most drawn to. Once you click that image, it will tell you the name of the shelf you chose, which is the word you type in one of the few channels available to you when you first join. Once you type that shelf name, it will become visible to you, and the channels within that category are where you will discuss the current book.

If you have friends in the server, ask what shelf they joined if you'd like to be together, or make sure to click the same shelf when you join. I believe there is a way to switch shelves if you so desire, but I think you have to message a moderator to do so.

The book cycle lasts six weeks, and both the site and Discord show what book the club is currently reading. Depending on how far the cycle is, you can hop in where they are or wait until the next cycle rolls around. You can also check the archives in the server to see discussions on literature past, if you desire.

Within your shelf, there are channels dedicated to a few chapters each, as well as a spoiler channel (enter at your own risk), and a channel for heavy and potentially triggering topics the books may contain (be careful if you enter, and don't read it unless you're comfortable). While you read the current book, you can discuss it with your shelfmates in the appropriate channel.

There's also a lobby category, where you can interact with members of other shelves. Life's Library is a fantastic resource to find new books you may not have heard of, although they avoid recently published books to ensure that as many people as possible have access to it that do not have subscriptions. If you're looking to make bookish friends or join a book club, it's the perfect place to start. The perks to subscriptions look amazing so if you can afford it, I highly recommend purchasing one, or if you're feeling generous, consider sponsoring a scholarship to help those who can't afford subscriptions. Especially in quarantine as in-person meetings have been put on hold, virtual meet ups are helpful to staying connected and grounded during these times.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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