Guest Post: In Praise of Book Clubs, Vol. 4

The 4th installment of this series is from the fabulous, big-hearted Trish at Hey, Lady! Whatcha Readin’?  Trish became one of my first online friends after starting this blog.  She is a passionate, caring person who is currently organizing love and support in the form of a care package for a fellow blogger undergoing cancer treatment.  Here she talks about her book club journey!

I don’t remember the first book I read, nor do I remember when reading became an obsession. However, I do remember the first time that I wanted to be in a book club so badly I could taste it. 

I was 22. I was working at a restaurant as a server when one of my tables got sat (that’s not bad English, it’s restaurant lingo) with four ladies. I noticed right away that they all had a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran as well as a copy of Lolita. I’m sure that I brought up something about reading because I spent almost 10 minutes talking to them about books. They recommended books to me and I recommended books to them. We’d read many of the same books and had similar feelings about those books. My heart was beating with the excitement of a first kiss. It was as if I’d found THE ONE (name that movie). THIS was the book club for me! The ladies were nice! We liked the same books! I was sure I must have something meaningful to contribute!

I learned they met once a month and usually went out to dinner. Being somewhat of a food snob, this sealed the deal for me: combine two loves in my life, books and food, and how could this not be a happily ever after?

After being totally jealous of the four ladies and wishing with all my heart that I was in their group, I approached the group as they were leaving the restaurant and got the attention of the lady I’d talked to the most. “If you ever have an opening in your book club, I’d love to join. Here’s my email address.” I handed her a card from the restaurant that had my email written on the back.

My co-workers thought I was crazy, but this was almost like approaching that cute boy you’ve been admiring from a distance who you know you’ll never see again. What does it hurt to say, “Here’s my number, give me a call sometime.” Maybe he’ll call, maybe he won’t, but at least you’ll never have any regrets.

The lady never called and I was left book club-less. Not to be deterred, I started my own book club. We met a few times but it fizzled quickly. The people I’d asked to join were avid readers, but discussing books with other book lovers wasn’t quite as easy as I anticipated.

Fortunately, I’ve found a few women that I work with who are avid readers. We’re bumbling through the first stages of a book club like a first boyfriend; it’s clumsy, awkward and guiltily fun. We’re starting to get into a groove that works for us, especially now that we’ve realized wine makes our discussions a little livelier. 😀 I have my fingers crossed that I’ve finally hit pay dirt on the book club. If not, there are plenty of other readers in the sea. 

Blogger Bio:  Trish lives in California and is getting married in June. She can’t wait to have more free time to read, and plans on instilling a love of reading in her (future) children.  Trish has been blogging at Hey, Lady! since October 2007.

***Would you like to share about your book club here at Books on the Brain?  If so, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you about a guest post!

For other volumes of In Praise of Book Clubs, click HERE

For more info on starting your own book club, click HERE

For fun ways to make your book club better, click HERE

For a chance to win a copy of Matrimony by Joshua Henkin, click HERE by May 15th.  Josh would be happy to do an author chat with your book club!

For a chance to win a copy of The Next Thing On My List by Jill Smolinski, click HERE by May 15. You can contact Jill at her website about setting up an author chat. 

13 Responses

  1. […] In Praise of Book Clubs, Vol. 4 with Trish from Hey, Lady! is HERE […]

  2. I can certainly relate to having book club envy. After reading this, I am thinking that it would be great if there was some online database for those of us looking for in-person book clubs organized by city. We could put in our zip codes and find other readers. Anyway, another terrific post. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Trish that she has found a book club that will last!!

  3. Hi Beastmomma, they DO have that! It’s called Put Book Club in their search engine and they are organized by city. I hope there’s one near your home! Hey, I hope you post a picture of your engagement ring soon!!!

  4. Lisa— you KNOW everything!! Thanks for the tip. Yes, I will post more engagement related photographs (including the ring) as soon as a I get through finals and have some more time that is not consumed with school. Thanks also for the sweet comment you left.

  5. Hi,

    I’m interested in a guest post about book groups. I have been in mine for almost 11 years now. Let me know.


  6. Aw, I’m so super sad that the diner lady never called. My heart was beating with excitement for Trish and then it lay broken in pieces on the ground. I’m glad she’s finally getting a book club started and I hope it works out for the best!

  7. Oh, I was hoping that story would have a happy ending! Their loss! I loved reading your post Trish. Best of luck with the bookclub.

  8. Lisa, this is a great series on book clubs that you’re doing, but I’m so jealous of all you book club people. I never seem to find people (in real life) who love to read. And all meetup gave me was a skiing group and a D&D group. Phooey…why can’t you all live closer??

    And Trish, you did a wonderful job on your guest post!

  9. Thanks for all the great comments!

    Jill, that stinks! What about a local library or book store? Maybe they have a group or you could start one with other bookish people- it’s worth a shot. Good luck. I wish we lived closer, too!

  10. Thanks for posting this, Lisa. It was fun to write. 😀

    Thanks, softdrink! Lisa will tell you I almost backed out…it was daunting with everyone else’s preceding me being so dang good!

  11. Man, I’m so bummed that those women never e-mailed you – that’s not nice! I am glad to hear that your own book club has found it’s groove.

  12. softdrink – I had the same experience before I started my own book club. I tried for months to find an existing group to join but no luck. 😦 So I emailed literally every woman in my email address book and told them I wanted to start my own club. I got 4 responses so I started with that. Once it got started, the girls invited friends and it started growing. I talk about books to everyone anyway so now I talk about my club too. I even invited a random woman browsing in the used book store to join us – she did, and we love having her! So don’t give up … getting a club together is well worth the effort. 🙂

  13. […] I do! The road to getting a functioning book group was difficult. I told the whole story at Books on the Brain. But the book club I have now is pretty great. It’s all female. We range in age from 30 to 58 […]

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