It’s hard to be a fan of Victorian novels in a country where English is a foreign language and where the majority of book clubs are about popular literature, such as Harry Potter and The Lord of The Rings.
Last December, I and my friends visited a book lovers gathering held by The Goodreads Indonesia at the Museum Indonesia, Central Jakarta. There were various stands in the event, ranging from Sherlock Holmes mania booth to non-profit book organizations. Some of Indonesia’s famous writers gave speech, too, during the two day event. Tere Liye and Ayu Utami were among a few who shared their experiences to bookworms. As I have written in the blog that I’m not the fan of my own country literature thus the name of Tere Liye did not attract me at all to even have a hear on what he said.
Instead, when Tere Liye and dozens of local literary freaks were discussing about book-related things, I and my best friend were talking to each other about our lives, our love for books, my friend’s plan for her daughter, etc.
After the session was over, we were walking around the venue, looking at the booths then drawing a conclusion that the event did not match our favorite genres. My pal loves reading Indonesian canon literature with Pramoedya Ananta Toer as her idol. She collects many of his titles. My situation is even more complicated not only because I haven’t even read any Indonesian novels in the past three years but also my favorite is English Victorian books. We both used to love Ayu Utami but now we don’t want to read any of her latest novels.
So, I went home feeling a bit disappointed because none of the stands were in line with my reading preference. Sometimes I Google if there were any book clubs in the capital that are homes to avid readers yet fortunately or unfortunately despite the number of the book clubs that I have found, none of them are devoted to classic readings. Most of them focus on popular literature, either by Indonesian or English authors.
My college mates do not all read classics after we have graduated. There is one friend who loves classics but our readings are not quite the same. My closed friend, who is also a bookworm, likes English books yet again, we have different reading taste. She prefers to The Lord of the Rings and children theme novels while I dislike the kind of topics. So yeah, I have nowhere to turn to except this blog.
I really want to have a kind of physical book club about English canon novels but for the time being I am already happy to have discovered bloggers who have the same favoritism like I do. Sharing thoughts, ideas via virtual world has been a pleasant thing to do, at least to show I’m not alone in this special literary genre.