In honor of the new Book Club movie I thought I’d write about my own experience with Book Clubs and how they have changed my relationship with other women and books.
Book Clubs have a special place in my heart. That place that burns after reading a good book with no one to talk to about it. That place that aches as we wait for the next installment. That place that squees when the author makes a new announcement. Book Clubs have buried itself in this place because I just wanted friends to join in on the emotional roller coaster that is reading.
When I moved to Maryland five years ago (holy crap!) I was eager to make new friends. But no one ever tells you how hard it is to make friends when you’re an adult. I turned to the internet, and after a few recommendations I found Meetup.com, which is a pretty great resource for those of you looking for the same thing. I found meetups for Board Game Lovers, I found Science Fiction Movie Lovers, and I even found the Writing Group I later joined. But I couldn’t find a book club, at least not one that fit my particular wants.
I wanted a book club that read romance. Any sub genre would do: YA, Science Fiction, Suspense, Paranormal, Historicals. At the time, I was following a online Book Club hosted by Felicia Day called Vaginal Fantasy. She and three other women recorded the meetings on youtube and posted them later. Once a month I would read the book, watch the video with a glass of wine, and enjoy just listening to book talk. It was great! I read books outside of my interest, I listened to interesting critiques of old romance novels and new ones, and once a month I felt like I had friends.
The book club was huge, so much so that people started their own local meetups. I looked, there weren’t any in the Baltimore area. So my introverted self did something bold, I created my own.
I was nervous about it. About the commitment, about the planning, and of course, I worried that no one would show up. Luckily the feedback was explosive (and very positive.) People actually came, and not just that but we had numbers ranging from 4-10 at meetings. We met up at different restaurants, had mimosas, and talked books.
It was the one day a month I looked forward to because I knew I would get good food and reconnect with book lovers.
Now Vaginal Fantasy has stopped their monthly YouTube meetups at the same time RT Booklovers convention is shutting down. Which means, we need more book clubs geared to Romance Readers.
There is a lot we a community of book lovers can do to make people feel included and talk books. I’m a introvert (like most readers) but that one time a month is when I tell myself I am going out, being social, and wearing a cute dress. It meant a lot to me and still means a lot to me.
One member and I went to see Fifty Shades of Grey (after a few beers.) The same person and I went to a Nora Roberts Signing (again, we had a few beers while waiting for our signing.) We had a Cinderella Movie Dinner, and when I had to move away we have a Goodbye party. Those ladies became some of the best friends I had in Maryland.
If you agree and want to find a local book club in your area I encourage you to check out Meetup or the Goodreads Book Club Page has a list of local meet ups (links below.) Facebook also has a ton of virtual book clubs, if you wanna stay inside.
If there is nothing in your area- START ONE! You’d be surprised how many Romance or YA readers in your area are looking for a book club that matches their favorite genre. The nice thing about Book Club is it doesn’t have to be fancy. You just need to pick a book, pick a place to meet up and then follow through with reading it. Some people meet up at their house, some at a restaurant, you can have it wherever you want! I personally prefer a place with wine.
It isn’t always easy but I would say with a strong attendance and good books it is completely worth it!