Thursday, January 17, 2013
When I lived in Virginia I met with a group of women once a month for a book discussion. Suzette, our fearless leader, was always on her A game. Which made attending book club easy and enjoyable. The process for selecting books was structured such that once a year everyone would bring three books that they wanted to pitch to the group. We'd go around the room and hear the pitch for each title then go around the room a second time for a brief recap and vote. That's right, titles were selected by a vote. (So democratic of us!) Then a calendar was set for the year. This meant I knew what we'd be reading in November even though it was only April. Brilliant. On top of that we would get an email reminder about book club one week before our meeting. (Also helpful in creating anticipation and reminding me to double-check my calendar.) Finally, we would often get a thank you email the morning after our discussion. Sometimes additional links or tips to things we had discussed the night previous would be included, but it always conveyed an uplifting spirit, reinforcing how much we'd enjoyed our time together. It was an added touch that made all the difference. This was, by far, my most beloved book club. We didn't limit ourselves to genre or content. Which was refreshing. We made title selections as a group, meaning we shared ownership of what we were reading. And finally, we changed location monthly so one person wouldn't get burnt out with hosting responsibilities that included leading the discussion AND providing refreshments. We were part of a group which meant we took turns. As the years passed friendships became richer. Sometimes we didn't even get to "the book". Which was perfectly okay. We had developed a sisterhood of fellow readers. I've missed these women. Their laughter and camaraderie. So tonight, in anticipation of joining what I hope will be my NEW book club, I'm setting off to attend a gathering hosted by a women from church. I pray for open-mindedness and a spirit of inclusion. Stay tuned.