New book club in half off books store

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New book club in half off books store

Screenshot of the official book club event page on Facebook.com

Alyssa Lopez, Staff Writer

Attention fellow bookworms! Come join a new book club in Half Off Books, created and hosted by a friend of mine, Justin Lemus who is a former Rio Hondo Student and was published in River’s Voice. In this club you can discuss about anything including your insatiable love for fictional characters, witty humor, plot twists, epic storylines, morality themes, and more.

Lemus explains why he created this club, “I was looking for a book club that was near me. It was mostly just for women. So I was like well, I like to read, other males like to read. Maybe I could get something that is inclusive of both sexes . . . It’s open to anybody. No real limitations with age or sex”. Furthermore, a main goal for club members is to read other genres dealing with various issues, “Find other readers you can discuss literature with but also expand what it is you like to read and thus far expanding your perspective”. Listening to a person’s opinion or outlook about a novel, one can gain more than a perspective, but also understand different types of people through fictional characters’ lives, “There is this quote I really like is ‘Reading is lethal to ignorance’ . . . You can broaden your perspective by talking to people with different backgrounds and when you converse, you can take with you a little bit of their perspective but then with reading, you are able to do that as well”. By reading a novel together, you will grow in unison with a deeper understanding about one another and other people.

A book may be selected by club members or Lemus himself as long as this novel is within the group’s consensus. Currently, the novel selected for this month is “Everyday” by David Levithan, a young adult novel with a complex storyline concept. This book is about a person named “A”, as the cover of the novel described A’s life as, “Everyday a different body. Everyday a different life. Everyday in love with the same girl”, meaning A’s soul enters a new body everyday, both male and female, and at the same time pursues their love for this girl despite A’s shifting gender. This leads to a philosophical belief that love doesn’t have a gender. Lemus discusses the theme of the novel concerning this, “It questions sexuality and gender and how that plays a role and how it doesn’t play a role. The gravity of it”.

We continue to discuss the unique quality of the novel. This brings in a heavily weighted philosophical theme, possibly can be brought up for discussion in the club and obviously, these issues are commonly not conversed about in a social environment.  Although, Lemus encourages club members to willingly speak up without hesitation, “I actually like talking about things like that. Before, I would’ve been bashful about [it] but nowadays, no. I don’t have a problem with being open, talking about sexuality whether it was mine or somebody else’s . . . since I’m a little more at ease with discussing things like that, I think that would invite other people to do the same”. When you come to a club meeting, gain the courage, be spontaneous and voice out your point of view – anything is open for discussion.

If you want to read a novel together, discuss anything about it, extend your reading horizon and deeper understand each other and other people in general, this will be a perfect club to join. Meetings are once a month, every 2nd Thursday, 5:30 pm at Uptown Whittier in Half Off Books Store: 6708 Greenleaf Ave. See you there, bookworms!

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