I get to be spoiled this week. I’m hosting book club at my house tonight with a group that’s magically and wonderfully come together. We’ll be discussing Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Then, on Wednesday evening, my 6th grader and I will join other families to discuss Forget-Me-Not by Ellie Terry in a school book club.
I’ve been pro-book clubs for years now. Not only because I’ve garnered a tremendous amount of support from local book clubs, but also because of the powerful conversations—the connections—they have the potential to incite. The empathy. Seeing the world from someone else’s point of view. Taking us out of our own little worlds and broadening our scope. All good things.
I have to laugh sometimes when I come across mentions of book clubs in some of the novels I read. Often they’re touted as merely social gatherings. The latest thing. Think Bunco or wine tastings. I’ll always be one to argue book clubs—when there is actual discussion of books—possess an intrinsic ability to have us step outside ourselves, if only for a brief time. Book clubs remind us of our humanity, our vulnerability, our innate need for one another. They teach us to be gentle and kind to one another, while also challenging us to stand up for what we believe in.
Book clubs remind us of what’s important. And what’s not.
*Not in a book club and have no idea how to start one? Please, reach out. I’d love to help! I lived here for maybe three months before I got to work and joined not one, but two book clubs. All it takes is a love of reading and a little bit of risk-taking.