Your Book Club’s New Best Friend

Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

If you’re like me, you read your book club selection with little post-its stuck in all the places you want to remember to talk about a month from reading it (when your book club actually meets). And then, sometimes, just so you don’t forget why you marked a certain place, you make a note on said sticky note. By the time all of that is over you a.) have a book loaded with post-its and b.) you’ve spent a lot of time trying to remember good points to talk about with your book club friends. What if there was someway to talk about certain parts of the book while you were reading it (without having to log onto a computer chat room)?

Lucky you, there is. Have you heard of Subtext? If you have an iPad, you can talk to your friends while you are reading the book. You could even have a book club where no one lives in the same state! You can all read the same book at the same time and exchange notes and ideas with each other along the way. Not only can you read what your friends have thought about a certain sentence or passage, but you can read what others have had to say — and best yet, notes the author of the book has made!

Subtext has launched with 18 books and is growing. Some of the more popular titles available are:

  • A Game of Thrones with insider commentary from George R.R. Martin’s editor and researcher (who also runs Westeros.org)
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan brought to life with scenes from the new movie and interviews with author Lisa See and director Wayne Wang
  • Under the Tuscan Sun with updates on characters and new off-the-beaten-path locations directly from Frances Mayes
  • Wicked Bugs with quirky notes and multimedia added by author Amy Stewart
  • Miss Lonelyhearts beautifully annotated by book critic David L. Ulin
(The above list was taken from the iTunes site.)



I’m curious, is this something you would use to read along with others — why or why not? Have any of you tried it already?