The Magic of Book Club

Several years ago (9 of them to be exact) a dear friend and I were both going through different stages of the empty nest stuff. Her son and my youngest had both recently left home to fly off into the world on their own. Neither one of us talked about how empty our homes were with each other. But I am sure if she is anything like me she had loneliness in her home; too much quiet going on.

One day out of the blue, my friend called and asked if I would like to go with her to a book club that was meeting either that night or that week. Details escape me. I said sure, I knew that I needed something outside of the house besides church and work to keep me occupied. I had let my friendships with other women fall by the wayside over the years as my kids were growing up and it didn’t help that I have spent a majority of my work life commuting to places that were 35 minutes to an hour away. I needed to find a way to reconnect with the world and the book club was a wonderful opportunity I could not let pass by.

So, being one that likes to step out of my comfort zone to do new things all the time, I said yes. Okay so that was a fib, I almost never step out of my comfort zone. I have my routines that I do every day, and going to meet a group of strangers voluntarily is not one of them. However, we hopped in her car and headed off to meet these strangers. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights I’d had in a while. We didn’t know their rules and had no clue what they expected from us. Along with that, I didn’t feel welcome. After trying a second time with them the next month just to see if this was an anomaly, we both decided that this book club just wasn’t for us.

My friend and I couldn’t be more different. She is bubbly and vivacious. She is the perfect example of extrovert, bless her loving heart, she knows no strangers. I, on the other hand, tend to be a little quieter, I tend to sit back and observe more than be actively involved. Because of this I think we balance each other just a little bit. So after that last disaster of a meeting, my friend and I discussed it and decided that we really would love to be in a book club. That’s when we came up with a brilliant idea and decided to create a book club that fit us. In fact, after we decided how we were going to start the club, with her calling her friends and me calling mine, she would ask perfect strangers that she met at work and other places if they were interested in joining a book club. We started the “Ladies Night Out Book Club” with five of our friends. None of them knew each other, but they all knew either me or my friend. Over the years we have had as many as 16 and as few as 5 ladies attending. Now we are keeping our group limited to 10-12 people. When we decided to meet once a month at a different restaurant it was like a light bulb went on, but we found that the larger the group the more difficult it was to discuss our books.

What a blast, for the first year we never went to the same restaurant twice. But now we have found our favorite restaurants that don’t mind a group of loud women talking about books for a couple of hours. Some of the wait staff has even thrown in a comment or two if we are discussing a book they have read. We have seen several of our friends come and go; some left due to work or other conflicting schedules, others left due to moving away to completely different states. But I have learned something from my interaction with these friends. I have learned that is okay to not know a stranger. When we have someone new visit our group, we welcome them right in. They don’t have a choice; we are going to like them no matter what.

Of the original 5 ladies that met that first night 4 of us are still there. We have all missed a meeting or two over the years, but I have found that this group of ladies that only meets once a month has been just what I needed to step out of my shell and back into life. Meeting with them once a month is magic. They provide an outlet and friendship that I had been missing and didn’t know that I was missing it. I love that when we are discussing the books that we choose, we discuss everything, and we compare some of the things that are happening in the books with things that have happened or are happening in our own lives. This means we have a really lively discussion that runs the gamut of all things called life. Most of us come from different states, and different job/life experiences so we are able to provide a depth to our discussions that would not be there if we had all grown up together.

I have been so bless by the magic of this group. I am so glad that my friend picked up the phone all those years ago and asked a simple question. “Do you wanna….?” Yes, I would love to and thanks for the invite.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CharleneMcD
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 12:19:04

    I have the reblog button on all my posts down by the like button. Does it just not show up on the ipad? It would be great, we are all so different in the book club but we have to decided to agree to disagree sometimes and we don’t let our feelings get hurt over little things.

    Like

    Reply

  2. appliedfaithorg
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 12:15:05

    I so wanted to reblog this, but can’t find a utility or widget to do it. Wouldn’t it be great if the blogosphere was more like book club?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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