The Power of Social Reading and the Importance of Asking for What You Want

Tara H

Tara H

Sep 10, 20234 min read


The Power of Social Reading and the Importance of Asking for What You Want


Social reading, a public and interactive activity, has become increasingly popular in both physical and digital spaces. It not only allows for meaningful conversations and connections between readers but also enhances the overall reading experience by encouraging critical thinking and engagement. Furthermore, online book clubs have emerged as a convenient alternative to traditional book clubs, offering numerous advantages. In this article, we will explore the concept of social reading, its benefits for libraries, and the significance of asking for what you want.

The Public Nature of Social Reading:

At its core, social reading thrives on the interactions between individuals and the text, regardless of whether it takes place in person or digitally. The essence of social reading lies in the discussions, debates, and conversations that occur as readers engage with the material. This public nature of social reading is what distinguishes it from solitary reading experiences. Libraries should care about social reading because it fosters a sense of community and encourages collaboration among readers.

Expanding the Reader's Experience:

Social reading goes beyond the act of reading itself. It prompts readers to make connections, draw conclusions, summarize thoughts, and ask questions in conversations with others. By engaging in social reading, readers gain a deeper understanding of the material and expand their perspectives through the insights shared by fellow readers. Additionally, social reading provides an avenue for developing online skills such as reviewing, recommending, and communicating via social media platforms. Libraries can leverage social reading to facilitate digital literacy and foster a culture of active participation.

The Advantages of Online Book Clubs:

Traditional book clubs often involve physical meetings once a month to discuss a particular book in-depth. However, online book clubs offer several advantages over this traditional model. One key advantage is the accessibility and convenience they provide. With online book clubs, readers can participate from anywhere, eliminating geographical limitations. Furthermore, online book clubs often make use of digital tools, such as popular highlight features, which allow readers to see phrases and passages that multiple individuals have highlighted. This feature enhances engagement and encourages discussions around specific parts of the book.

The Importance of Asking for What You Want:

In addition to social reading, it is crucial to recognize the significance of asking for what you want. By expressing our desires and seeking assistance, we open ourselves up to opportunities for growth and improvement. When we ask for feedback and advice, we demonstrate our willingness to learn and grow. As the saying goes, "If you don't ask for what you want, don't be surprised if you don't get it." When asking for help or support, it is essential to clearly communicate our desires, explain the reasons behind them, specify the timing, and extend a genuine invitation for assistance.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace social reading: Encourage patrons to participate in social reading activities by organizing book clubs, discussion forums, or online reading groups. Create a sense of community and foster engagement by providing platforms for readers to connect and share their thoughts.
  • 2. Leverage the power of online book clubs: Explore the advantages of online book clubs and consider incorporating digital tools that enhance the reading experience. Utilize features like popular highlights to spark conversations and encourage deeper engagement with the material.
  • 3. Ask for what you want: Whether it's seeking feedback, advice, or support, don't hesitate to ask for what you need. Clearly articulate your desires, explain the reasons behind them, and extend an invitation to others to join you in achieving your goals. By asking for what you want, you open yourself up to new opportunities and collaborations.


Social reading offers a unique and public approach to reading that can greatly benefit libraries and their patrons. By embracing social reading, libraries can foster a sense of community, encourage engagement, and facilitate the development of online skills. Additionally, online book clubs provide convenience and accessibility, making reading and discussion opportunities available to a wider audience. Alongside social reading, it is crucial to recognize the importance of asking for what you want. By expressing our desires and seeking assistance, we open doors to personal and professional growth. So, don't hesitate to embrace social reading, leverage online book clubs, and ask for what you want to create a more enriching and fulfilling reading experience.

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