NYPL has set up a virtual book club — just one of many ways to fill your time

Obviously all of us would like to be able to walk around the city (or wherever else you are in the world) freely, spend time with our friends, work for an income, and more. Many of those are impossible right now. But credit needs to be given to our cultural institutions who are facing financial disaster but doing their best to keep us entertained and distracted. Do read thru as there is a list of other resources at the end of the article.


The New York Public Library has launched a virtual book club

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By Collier Sutter Posted: Monday April 6 2020, 1:20pm

Rose Room NYPL
Photograph: Courtesy Max Touhey Photography

The New York Public Library is partnering with public radio station WNYC to give New Yorkers a shared community to connect with one another over thought-provoking books while cooped up inside their homes.

If you tend to look to literature in stressful times, this virtual book club could be your escapist pleasure and provide a sense of togetherness with other bookish New Yorkers.Recommended Time Out VideoPlay VideoYou can’t see the @nybg’s orchid exhibition in person right now, but you can still see it via a…

“During this unsettling time, we believe reading can be both the escape and the connection that New Yorkers need,” said Brian Bannon, the Merryl and James Tisch Director and chief librarian of the New York Public Library. “The Library brings New Yorkers together, offering welcoming spaces for people of varying backgrounds and perspectives to learn, grow, and explore the world. During this unimaginable moment in our history, when we all must stay apart but long for that kind of togetherness, we are proud to team up with another venerable New York institution to offer our city an opportunity to connect.”

The first book on the book club’s agenda is James McBride’s award-winning novel Deacon King Kong, a New York Times bestseller that takes place in the Brooklyn projects of the late 1960s.

Book clubbers can join the live-streamed discussion of the novel on April 30 at 7pm, led by WNYC journalist Alison Stewart, on social media outlets of both Stewart’s channel All of It NYC and the NYPL

McBride himself will also be on the livestream to join the conversation and carry out an audience Q&A. 

New Yorkers can download the library’s e-reading app SimplyE to connect their library cards to and borrow the novel for free (as well as download from a selection of 300,000 other free e-books available on the app). If you don’t have a library card, you can apply for one within the app, and if you’re in New York State you’ll be able to immediately start borrowing.

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