Once a month I get together with a group of friends, whom over the years have become family, and spend endless hours laughing, crying and arguing over books. Yes, books. Not gossip or celebrity news, but books. Each month we meet at one of our homes and catch up over dinner, with anticipation to clear the table to bring out the tea and desserts so we can get down to the matter at heart.
It all started a few years ago (I want to say 3, but my old age can’t distinguish dates anymore) when, as a group of friends we realized we needed to make a concerted effort to see each other more often. We were all getting busier with our careers and finding time wasn’t as easy as it was when were all in university together. Since we’re all avid readers to begin with and were often passing books back and forth amongst each other, it was a perfect fit. Why not get together, catch up and talk about the great books we’re reading instead of talking about other people?
We pick names out of a hat each year so everyone knows which month is theirs to host and they can pick a book in advance. We try to give each other a month to read the books and sometimes if the host is torn between some options, she’ll put it to the group and we all help select the choice for the month.
More than just the warmth of companionship from my sister-friends, its been great reading books that I probably would never pick up. We each have varying tastes and nuances that come out with book selections and discussions afterwards. What I might find annoying in a book character, a friend might see as a coping mechanism and through discussions we get to see two different perspectives. More than just the plot lines and character developments, but what resonates with me is that these novels teach us about each other and the world around us.
Our bond within book club has strengthened and we find ourselves constantly referring to past books and the discussions they incited. We each make such an effort to never miss a date, even to the point our families and significant others know not to book us on those nights.
Here are some of my favourites from past book club gatherings. Again, my memory alludes me so there might be a part two post with more titles I forgot the first time around.
If you’re in a book club, I’d love to hear about it and which books stood out to you.