Okay, I’ll be honest. I didn’t start a book club for moms. I started a book club for myself. I love to read. Whenever I finish a good book, the first thing I want to do is discuss it with someone. From the surprise ending, the relatable characters, to that one scene in the middle that I couldn’t shake and kept me up in the middle of the night. Anyone who loves to read knows the disappointment of actually coming to the end of a good read. After all of the build-up and excitement of waiting to find out the ending, it feels like more than the ending of just a book. That book was my companion for a few short days, weeks, or months (depending on the book) and now it’s OVER. There’s no, “let’s keeps in touch” or “we can still be friends.” It’s just over.
Book lovers will also understand the excitement of finding a friend who has read one of your favorite books. I immediately jump into the list of questions I’ve been storing in my mind for just this very occasion. “So what did you think of the ending?” “Did you think that one part was realistic?” “I loved that part in chapter 5, remember that part in chapter 5!?”
A little discussion brings life back to a book; my old friend can come visit for awhile again. Then when we are finished with the discussion it feels less like a book break-up and more of parting of ways. We can still be friends, but there other books out there, so we can’t be exclusive.
This is why I have always wanted to start a book club. I have tried several times in the past, but have always struggled to make it happen. My road blocks being scheduling issues, not being able to find enough people, and once picking a super depressing book that no one was willing to finish (oops).
But, because I love to read so much, I kept trying, and one year ago today I posted a message in my local Facebook MOPS group. Within an hour, I had over 30 moms interested in joining (many of whom I barely even knew), and it was clear that I might be able to make a book club work this time.
I created a Facebook group, invited all of the ladies interested, picked a book (What Alice Forgot, by Lianne Moriarty) for our first meeting, and created a Facebook event. One month later 22 women showed up for our first meeting, and we managed to actually discuss the book (yes, there was wine, but we discussed the book, too!).
A Good Time for Me time
As much as I do love to read, it’s hard to find time for just me, and when I do, I usually want to spend it catching up on chores 0r Netflix; however, I find reading so much more restorative than even the most engaging TV program. Having a deadline for finishing a book forces me to find time for a hobby I love. It is making time on my to do list for something that recharges me, instead of adding to my stress.
Two Words, MOM FRIENDS
If you have been “mommin’” for longer than five minutes, you have surely run into a blog post or two on the importance of mom friends. Motherhood can be lonely, but a group of friends who understand the challenges of this stage of life provide support and belonging. Here’s one way to make some mom friends: start a book club or another club of common interest. I know mom’s who craft, play bunko, and one called “walking wine group” (I’m not actually sure what this is, but it sounds amazing). I barely knew many of the moms who joined my book club at first. Now I’ve developed close friendships with many of them, and I enjoy spending time with them all.
Setting a Good Example for my Kids
I’m reading a lot more now. One of the best ways to encourage children to love something is to love it yourself. My kids will grow up knowing that I love to read. Of course, we spend lots of time reading together, as well, but they can see that reading isn’t a chore for me, I actually enjoy it. It is my hope for them that they continue to share my love for reading.
Have I made it clear yet that l love books? After the first meeting, I opened up following meetings for hostess volunteers. In our book club, the host gets to pick the book. I have found myself reading many books I would not have found on my own. It has opened up a whole new world of books for me, and I don’t have to spend hours deciding on a new book anymore.
To all of the wonderful ladies who decided to take a chance on me at our first meeting, and all of those who have joined since, I am so grateful to all of you. This is all that you have given to me. It’s been a great year together, let’s keep it going!
And to all my fellow book lovers, I hope this may inspire you to start your own book club and that it also gives to you all that it has given me.