In a Hbl column, the Helsinki journalist, writer and literary critic Pia Ingström writes about a cultural institution that's especially widespread among Finland's majority Finnish-speaking population - the book club, or reading circle. She says that a large part of her Finnish-speaking life (as a Finland-Swede, she also has a Swedish-speaking one) is spent in a circle of readers "whose members are authors, editors and translators. We eat and talk about our jobs if we have one, as well as about our children, grandchildren, husbands or pets. Also, each of us presents a book we've been reading, for purely personal or for professional reasons."
At the circle's last meeting, author Anita Konkka had been re-reading Hungarian author Peter Esterhazy's novel Helping Verbs of the Heart, and her view of the novel had been changed, she said, by the life experiences she had had in the intervening two decades. Pia writes that "I need my reading circle not for discovering new books, but old ones. It's lucky that there are people who read according to an order that is completely subjective, free from passing trends and fashions."