I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book. J.K. Rowling
Last night we had a new member come out to our book club. Our club hasn’t met since February. We need to meet more regularly, but book clubs need to fit into our lives not take over our lives. We all love the book club; not only because of the books, but also the camaraderie, conversation, and closeness we’ve developed. It is a place to be real, and honest. We don’t pretend our families, lives, or anything else is perfect. Everything is up for discussion. We have diverse backgrounds, ages, and viewpoints. This isn’t a book club made up of close friends. We’ve become close by being part of the book club. Most of us didn’t know each other’s spouses or families when we joined.
Books give us a starting point. We ask questions and we reflect on how things in books resonate in our own life. When a book is followed with a discussion it makes it more powerful. We have more to think about. More questions to ask. We even had an author come out to discuss her book one evening. She enjoyed speaking with readers and we enjoyed meeting the author.
Having a reason to meet is a good reason to belong to a book club. It will expand our minds is another good reason. We will read books we wouldn’t otherwise read. We will hear points of view that challenge us. We will ask and answer questions and go deeper than if we read a book on our own with no discussion.
Every book club will be different. Some book clubs may meet over wine and cheese. Some will meet in member’s homes, coffee shops, or over dinner. We may go see the movie of a book they’ve read. Some may be very literary and serious. Some may be casual but connect over the challenges life presents and be there to bolster us when we need it.
Our book club has gone through many changes. We started when some of us had young children; babies have been born along the way. Children have gone onto University and out into the world. Relationships have broken up. Parents have passed on. Pets have passed on. What we haven’t had yet is a wedding of one of our members. That too could become a reality.
A little reading is all the therapy a person needs sometimes. Unknown
We can look through the list of books we’ve read and the members that have come and gone. We have one original member left, I was asked to join when the book club was fairly new. When the book club no longer works for someone they leave and other members are brought in.
Members have moved on for various reasons. For one member we aren’t a literary enough book club. If we don’t get the book read, if we can’t make it to a meeting, and if we don’t discuss the book at all it isn’t a problem. Life is too short to have our book club be another obligation. It should be a pleasure, a supportive group of people who can share opinions, ideas on life or whatever is relevant at the moment.
We have chosen some fabulous books and some duds. Some books we could discuss, again and again, some are never mentioned again. Being part of the book club is one of the great pleasures of my life.
Last night we went to a coffee shop. Our next meeting we will be going to a desert place owned by the aunt of one of our members. In the beginning, minutes were kept and it was much more formal. It morphs and grows as each member comes. There is a limit to the number of people that can meet comfortably in a coffee shop. Too many and it won’t work, too few and everyone is obligated to show up or there is no meeting. We are now a group of seven. Our club is small enough to be able to meet anywhere and large enough that everyone doesn’t need to attend if their life doesn’t allow it.
It is easier to have a set meeting date like the third Wednesday of the month and whoever can make it, makes it. We’ve tried to accommodate by finding a date that works for everyone but that is very hard. Life gets in the way.
I highly recommend being part of or starting a book club. We get a lot more out of it than just books read. It seems many people have had bad experiences with book clubs. This is the first one I’ve joined and it’s close to twenty years we’ve been going. Too high of expectations may be why some clubs fail or members are unhappy. Some members only want to discuss the book and nothing else. That would make a drier, stuffy book club.
Meeting in member’s homes can seem like too much work and an inconvenience for the member’s families. Coffee shops work the best for us, no muss, no fuss, no array of goodies we need to consume, very little expense or preparation.
Sometimes meeting in someone’s home is the only way they can be part of the meeting. Flexibility is in order. Our book club isn’t disbanded if we don’t meet every month. We don’t ask people to leave because their life is too hectic to get the book finished, or sometimes even started.
Book clubs like everything else in life will be what we make it. Having a supportive, stimulating, and engaging book club is the goal. Like everything else in life, we bring ourselves to the mix. If we join a book club that doesn’t quite fit, we can join or start another.
If you’ve ever thought you should be part of a book club, what is holding you back?
Books don’t just go with you, they take you where you’ve never been. Anonymous
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, reading, and love.
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