'Shadowhunters' star Alberto Rosende's book club is a safe community where everyone is heard
By Rita Marrazzo
“Keep exploring, keep learning, keep being curious, keep questioning things, keep being a positive force of change in your community and world." That's the motto of Alberto Rosende's book club: RosendeReads.
Alberto Rosende, best known for his role as Simon Lewis in the Freeform show 'Shadowhunters', created a book club in August 2017. He had explained the reason behind starting the club in the first chat we had back in 2017 saying, "As most of you guys know, I like to read a lot and reading is something that has grounded me as a person. It opens my eyes for new ideas and new sights."
View this post on Instagram
Hey all! As I said in my live I am starting my own insta book club! On the first of every month we will begin a new book and once a week we will have an insta live chat about the book and our thoughts! Our first book is my personal favorite, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. We will start reading it September 1st. Thank you for joining and helping me to read more! #RosendeReads #Favoritebook #Albertosbookclub #soitgoes
The book club is very active. People from all around the world tune in every week to discuss and share their insights about the books the club reads.
The live chats are usually quite structured: We first share our opinions about the part of the book we were supposed to read that week, with Stella (Alberto's cat) occasionally interrupting us and demanding our attention. We then share our favorite sections and quotes. And, at the end, Alberto tells us the plan for the next week: how far we're going to read and when the next live chat is going to be.
It's not always easy, and it doesn't always work out for everyone because of the different timezones, but the live chat stays up on Instagram for 24 hours so, when a member can't join the discussion, they make sure to catch up as soon as possible and they tweet Alberto their thoughts.
"It’s just been a super amazing experience and the fans have made it into such a great community; just reading, and asking questions, and trying to restore literature as something that is actually fun and not just something that happens in school or that is required," Alberto told Basic Shadowhunters Stuff in March 2018. "It’s been an experience. It even makes me want to get up and out of bed on Saturday mornings because I want to go and I can’t wait to talk about books."
Some of the most frequently asked questions we get during the live chats are "How can I join the book club?" or "What book are you reading?"
Joining the book club is very easy. Alberto shares with us a few titles we will read so we have the time to find the books. He then lets us know how far we're going to read and when the next live chat will be by sharing updates on @RosendeReads Instagram account. So make sure you read the sections before tuning in during the live chat and share your opinions.
RosendeReads is a community that shares their love for reading. One of the things that I noticed, and in my opinion cannot always be assumed, is that there's a mutual respect between Alberto and the members of the book club.
Everyone listens to each other, everyone makes sure people are heard and no comment or opinion is ignored. That’s something Alberto has always tried to do: Making sure we all feel comfortable enough to ask questions even if we feel like the answer is obvious.
We challenge each other, we learn together and we leave no one behind. Alberto always makes time for us despite his job commitments. Even when he was busy on set filming 'Shadowhunters' season 3A and 3B, he never gave up on the book club and that's the kind of dedication and devotion we all admire.
Alberto created a safe community and connected people of different ages from all around the world. The friendships made thanks to RosendeReads share a genuine and respectful bond.
View this post on Instagram
Today we celebrate the year with our first 5 books for @rosendereads ! People all around the world got together weekly to dive into the world of literature. To those that have been reading with us, thank you! To those just joining the journey welcome and we can't wait to read with you! P.s. I found this omen walking around Charlotte, NC I thought you'd enjoy! #RosendeReads #thealchemist #diaryofayounggirl #1984 #tokillamockingbird #slaughterhousefive
RosendeReads is currently reading "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas. You will find the RosendeReads booklist listed below.
1. Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
2. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
3. 1984 - George Orwell
4. Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
5. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
6. Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
7. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
8. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
9. Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
10. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
11. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
12. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
13. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
14. Man's Search For Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl
15. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
16. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
17. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
18. The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
View this post on Instagram
"I want to tell the world a story about how to be Human again..." Here is the book list for #RosendeReads as of right now. Our next book is 1984 which we start tomorrow! I will post updates for reading schedule tomorrow! Thank you @nour_naffaa for the amazing picture and your amazing quote! #maketheworldreadagain
I joined the book club when Alberto announced it. Seeing how everyone has been growing in the past year has been amazing. We catch up on our personal lives from time to time. Sometimes you read comments like “I got that job i applied for” or “I just got accepted to UNI” and it’s like watching an old friend accomplish all the goals they were set for themselves and it makes you really proud and happy. RosendeReads has been a double challenge for me not only because some of the books we’ve read are totally different from the ones i was used to but because english is not my first language, like for most of the members. I’m italian and i’ve studied english for eight years at the school but reading and keeping a conversation with someone in english is totally different than the exercises we had to do in school. Italian and english are two very different languages so sometimes i take my time before leaving a comment because it could make sense in my native language but when i translate it in english, it could lose its meaning. It’s a challenge but being part of RosendeReads is something that i will forever be grateful for.
Let’s take a look at what some members of RosendeReads think about the book club...
Gaya, 19, Italy.
only 250 words aren't enough to express how grateful i am for this opportunity. the rosende reads means so much to me and to many people. I connected with people that can understand me and have become some of my closest friends. 💕 pic.twitter.com/JUOf7quJPd— gaya ＠・ω・＠ (@lethalsoufflee) December 14, 2018
Olivia, 37, France.
I was looking for a book club for a long time! Discovering #rosendereads was great! I joined this year so it’s new for me but it give me the opportunity to read books I‘d have never read otherwise, talk with people from all over the world and have very interesting conversations!— OliB (@oli_b81) December 14, 2018
Anna, 20, Portugal.
Definitely changed my life for the better just by the topics of each book. Every single one speaks about a important subject that impacts our society and every time we discuss books, feels like I have grown a little. #RosendeReads @RosendeReadsPDF— 71 days (@claryxart) December 14, 2018
Kelly, 34, Brazil.
Rosende Reads gave me the little push I needed to get back to my favorite pastime. Each page turned and each live watched helps me feel better. I'm able to read again because of Rosende Reads. Thank you. #RosendeReads— Kel Cesar (@cesarkel) December 14, 2018
Keri, 23, Scotland
rosendereads has helped me a lot it’s given me something to look forward too. I’ve found a new love for reading and I’ve also been brought out of my comfort zone for reading as the books are not something I would read so I thank him for the book club and I’ve also made friends!— keri (@mossendes) December 14, 2018
Krithika, 16, Saudi Arabia.
It’s really interesting to hear different opinions cause it gives you different perspectives.— Krithika |SaveShadowhunters| (@krithikaa2002) December 14, 2018
The books are usually from genres I probably wouldn’t have picked myself. And I have been wanting to read outside my comfort zone. So the book club has been encouraging in that way.
Thina, 23, Italy.
#RosendeReads means a lot. Every live leads me to important discussion, from everyone of them I learn something. Thanks to RR I've a better conception of life and myself, I have grown a lot. The club make me feel a better person, more kind and grateful. RR is a blessing to me.— 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒖𝒏𝒆. ➰ (@thatsthina) December 14, 2018
Anie, 32, USA.
I used to be very principled about my reading. One book at a time. Now I read at least 2 (RosendeReads and my own). I would only read certain genres and writers. Now I am more open minded. THANK YOU FOR OPENING MY MIND.— Anie #SaveShadowhunters (@AnieHansen) December 14, 2018
Claire, 26, USA.
Marianna, 21, Italy.
Thanks to the #RosendeReads I had the chance to read a lot of books I would never have read and I met a lot of amazing characters. I had the opportunity to grow up as a person and reader. Thank you so much for everything Alberto. This book club means the world to me.— marianna (@rosendemctudor) December 14, 2018
Make sure to follow @RosendeReads’ official account on Instagram for the latest updates.