German tennis player, Andrea Petkovic, has founded an Instagram book club to help those who are self-isolating at home.
Called the Racquet Book Club, she told Telegraph Sport that it is an idea that she has had for a while: “Then when this virus hit, I was like, ‘Okay, if this is not the time, there is never going to be a time.’”
Her first pick is appropriately all about tennis – String Theory is a collection of essays on the sport by David Foster Wallace. The book beat off stiff competition from non-sport books including H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.
She told the paper that String Theory is "a very personal choice – it would have been hypocritical not to do it”.
Petkovic doesn't plan to focus entirely on sport, however. She said: "The next few rounds, I will stay away from tennis.”
In line with her desire to “make sure this club is inclusive,” Petkovic has already shared three non-tennis titles by women that she likes if people didn't fancy taking on David Foster Wallace. They were My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz and Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles.
She also spoke about her fellow readers on the player's circuit. She told The Telegraph: “I see a lot of people reading in the player lounge.”
“Maria Sharapova is one who always had a book in her hands. Ana Ivanovic [the 2008 French Open champion] was an avid reader. It is generationally based, though. If you see the younger generation, they are more digitally aware, and more likely to be looking at a phone. I was born in 1987, so I was from the last generation that grew up in an analogue time.”
Keeping everyone connected and giving people help to fill the extra time now that we aren't commuting and socialising as before, the Racquet Book Club is just what's needed and with just under four thousand followers already, it seems like her fans agree.
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