Sometimes its the little things that do the most good. Like the simple pleasure of a book. Books engage and confront. They afford solace and inspired moments. They allow you the spirit to explore that which is not attainable and provide an expansion of knowledge. At times too it seems, they can offer you the greatest of comfort.
William Morris, the creative English novelist, poet and social activist once wrote – have nothing in your home you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful! The beauty and usefulness in my home I know comes from books.
I love books and something quite wonderful happened to me when I moved to America. I was invited into and joined a book group. This is the first book group I have ever been involved with and my Navman was of particular use on the first evening I went. I drove to a small tree lined sub division some 20 minutes from my home. I had only been living in America for about 7 weeks at that stage and driving was a whole new experience….especially at night in icy conditions. I walked up the path to the front steps of a house I had never been to before. It was bitterly cold out but inside the home was a group of warm, welcoming women I then knew very little about. Some were lovers of books and the written word and some just there for some much deserved social stimulation – tip number one: you don’t need to be a book worm to join.
One of the things I enjoy most about this group is that it has allowed me to entwine my life with a group of people I might never have gotten to know. Once a month on a Tuesday evening the doors of a house are opened to welcome and you don’t, as I have discovered, need the requirement of good taste in literature to pass over the threshold. Tip number two: lower your expectations when joining a book group as literary tastes certainly vary. Again a joy of this group is that I have read some books I would not normally have touched with a ten foot pole.
We all bring a dish to share and eat supper together then with glasses of wine or cups of coffee in hand we make ourselves comfortable and ready for discussion. Some books have polarized opinions and the conversations and discussions have been heated yet stimulating. And of course everyone has a differing opinion on what makes that particular months chosen book great or a dud. Often we veer off the intended subject but we always manage to come back again. The hours pass quickly and soon it is late in the evening. We eventually leave but those few hours linked by the unity of a book has reminded us of the small things that are often amiss such as the essence of sharing and companionship……..both of which I am very thankful for.
The days here in Georgia are becoming shorter and cooler and winter will soon be upon us once again (which I find is the perfect reading weather). I am still working my way through the formidable ‘must-do-reading-list’ I set for myself. Down another four classics with only thirty to go now. Currently though, it is ‘fall’. A beautiful season of color and change and Halloween and thanksgiving. I cannot help but wonder what other people give thanks for however I know for me, that I am most thankful to have the gift of reading. Reading and my love of books has offered me the privilege of freedom. Something I will be forever grateful for xx
4 thoughts on “Book Group…..”
What can I say about your ‘Book Club’ post ? … Simply that your words were just beautiful and you have painted such a warm picture of your evenings with friends, that I truly wish I could be invited to walk up that path to such warm acceptance and cosy times.
….. and …. as the sign says at the exit from your lovely suburb “Happy Fall to Y’All”
Huge hugs Bid …xo
I really loved reading this blog. I love books and I have been in a few books clubs now but somehow they don’t seem to really fit me. Either the people there aren’t really into books that much, or they don’t seem to get me or something. What makes your book group work so well oceangirl? And I loved the idea of supper and wine before discussing a book
Hello Ada, thank you for your kind words. Your question is a good one regarding why the group works so well. I guess it is that we are such a diverse group of women who value and respect each others input to the book group – ‘good books and good people are something to treasure’.
To me, there is no right or wrong in literary interpretation – our views differ quite a bit but that’s completely okay…not everyone should agree on the same thing otherwise life would be quite boring 🙂 I do know some people who have been in book groups and clubs which haven’t work as there have been those in attendance who bring a mighty ego or pomposity with them. Again it is all about consideration and respect.
A couple of tips I can perhaps offer is: be open with mind and heart, rotate your hosts, perhaps have a theme (if it is a southern book for example ask those coming to bring their favorite southern dish), be committed to attend (I schedule trips etc. around book group), encourage the quiet to use their voice and let everyone speak, and most importantly enjoy. Ada, you could even start your own book group. Advertise with a flyer in your local library and see how it goes. You have nothing to lose and much to gain xx
Oh my gosh! Thanks a million oceangirl. You have really given me so much encouragement. You replying has really meant so much and more than you can ever know. I am so inspired to do this. I will let you know how it all goes Xx