Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Dream Book Club

I've been a part of many book clubs through the years.  They have served a variety of purposes, but probably lowest on the list would be reading.  My former book clubs were ways for me to make connections with neighbors and friends.  They were full of talk about "family and personal experience."  Which is a gentle way of saying birth stories.  And also wine, lots of wine.  

However, as a somewhat snooty English major ("with a focus on Literature," said smugly), I would leave mostly frustrated because whenever I would start nerding out about a book I would be met with wide-eyed stares, my friends' mouths agape.  

At one point, I looked into auditing a couple of English classes at our local community college to talk books with people.  But that seemed like too much, even for my geek-self.  

Finally, I found a solution.  

Spurred on by indie booksellers on podcasts and blogs, I looked into local independent bookstores in my area.  And I found it.  A tiny bookstore with a quirky staff and even quirkier customers, myself included.  

Quickly I discovered that the bookstore hosts a few different book clubs, two during the day when my kids are at school.  Yes and yes!  

I showed up at one and sat watching the group in awe.  I had found my people.  They just happen to be 60+.  

The group was raucous and well read.  Their comments were insightful and referenced other books.  And everyone had grey hair.  Well, except for me and two other women who fell outside of the 60+ gang.  Lots of retired teachers.  Lots of laughing.  

I kept going and now I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of joining my dream book club.  There is no alcohol, but you can bring your own coffee.  No one makes elaborate snacks.  No one makes snacks at all.  We are there to talk books.  And, I love it so much.  
my indie bookstore at Christmas <3
I also love seeing a group of smart women in a different stage of life.  We giggle when one of the women talks about a racy scene, we comfort when one woman is reminded of the death of her husband by a plot line, we respect each other's opinions, even when they are different from our own.  

The bookstore owner chooses the books and she varies the selections by genre/author/setting.  I read more widely last year thanks to book club.  The book club books stretch me and then I'm not so worried about stretching my personal book choices. 

Once a month I get to go see my book club friends and really talk books.  It's such a highlight for so many reasons.  Plus, I always leave with another armful of books and next month's book club pick. Book shopping is a major benefit of having your book club in an actual bookstore.   

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