Happy Friday! I have to admit that I’m quite excited to be writing this post. Not only because we just celebrated my favourite day of the year (World Ocean’s Day), but because I get to announce a new way in which ocean lovers – local and afar – can get involved with the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre and learn more about our wonderful blue planet.
The idea came to me a few months ago as I was standing in a bookstore staring at a massive wall of economics books. I’m not very knowledgeable on the subject and I quickly realized I had no idea where to begin. I was looking for something general, a Beginner’s Guide to Economics, if you will. But even that seemed like a daunting task. How was I to know which authors followed what schools of thought? What are the various schools of thought? Which books were too advanced? Too specific? In looking for this generic read, I came across about a dozen different titles with some combination of the words “beginner,” “learn,” “introduction,” “guide,” and “economics.” I left without a single one. Only later, when an economist friend of mine suggested a few options, did I feel confident in returning to buy a book.
While this is my own experience, I feel like it’s a common problem for people who are looking to learn more about a specific topic they’ve seen in the news or heard about over dinner; it can be tricky if you have no starting point. Knowing that many of my friends and family take an interest in marine issues, but face similar troubles when it comes to knowing what sources to trust and which books are written for a general audience, I approached my colleagues here with an idea: the Vancouver Aquarium Book Club.
This book club is meant to encourage people interested in ocean issues to get involved in reading and talking about a specific marine-themed fiction or non-fiction book. A new AquaBlog post will be published the first Friday of every month highlighting the themes and ideas in that month’s book and also providing some potential thinking points. Throughout the month, we encourage you to use AquaBlog to comment, ask questions, or share your own observations and experiences that tie into the selected book. If you’re inclined to think in 140-character bursts, feel free to tweet about it using #VanAquaReads; we’ll do our best to keep the discussion going on whatever platform you choose.
Since we understand that people are busy, and might have other books on the go, we’ll provide a list of our upcoming reads a few months in advance so you can see what’s up next in case you want to order or start reading ahead of time.
We’re excited to get the conversation going next month on Friday July 3 when we’ll be posting a summary and some questions pertaining to ideas in Callum Roberts’ newest book, The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea. From overfishing to climate change to pollution, Roberts discusses the many ways in which humans are impacting the marine world. This is an incredibly well-researched and insightful book, so pick up a copy at your local book store or library and get ready to dive into the discussion!
Blog post submitted by Laurenne Schiller, Ocean Wise research analyst and book club curator at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.