We Call it a Book Club

And it is—sort of.
Each month we choose a book to read and then gather together to discuss it because that’s what book clubs are about. Right? It sounded so simplistic in the beginning, just a fun thing to do. It was all about the reading and well, many of us like to read, some of us would like to read more. We started out with goal. A book a month.

And so the East Dalhousie Book Club came into being.
The first one of its kind. Now that’s remarkable! I like firsts.

And so we called it a book club.

And it is—sort of. But it turns out it’s much more than reading. It’s about taking the time to slow down and spend some alone time with the person you should know best in this world—You. We make ourselves be too busy-–yes, make. We hurry from one task to another. We agree to take on too many things for fear that we’ll let someone down when the person we’re really letting down is ourselves. We don’t take time to dream or to daydream or to pretend. How can we expect to create things in our lives if we don’t dream them into being first? Thoughts come first. Every thing that is created in the world first begins with a thought, an image, a desire, a want, a wish, a hope. We sometimes forget all the things that we refer to as the “little things” in life, although I’ve come to understand that most of the “little things” really amount to big things if we’re being perfectly honest. Books allow us to dream, to think, to imagine, to desire, to want, to wish, to hope. All those big “little things” we push aside because we’re too darn busy.

We call it a book club.
And it is—sort of.
It’s an exchange of ideas, the expressing of one’s self through the spoken word about the written word. It’s communication and the gathering of people who might not otherwise find a reason to gather– to speak, to express, to examine, to find out exactly what your view is on a particular subject. We don’t always know what our thoughts are about something until we open ourselves up and start talking. It’s about discovering who we are, our likes and dislikes, the things that make us happy or sad or angry. All these things we give voice to during our book club discussions. One voice is as important as another. We share.

What I have learned is that even if a particular book isn’t my cup of tea, the themes within that story are things I can relate to on some level. I believe that no matter how our lives differ, we all can relate to one another at least on an emotional level. We all experience emotions even though we all follow a different path in life. We’ve all experienced sadness, happiness, joy,fear. As a child growing up I had the sense that certain emotions were a bad, the ones that were looked at as negative. I thought it was wrong to say that something made me angry or caused me to shed tears, made me afraid. But I know now, we can learn from the negative as well as the positive because sometimes life doesn’t always give us the results we’d like. We can either give in and call it quits or we can dig deeper and keep trying until we finally get the intended results. Sometimes the lesson we learn need to come from those failed attempts.

We call it a book club
.
And it is—sort of. Because life is more about the unseen than the seen. Always has been for me at least. It’s not about the amount of stuff we acquire or the job we do, but the lives we touch. It’s about taking the time to listen, to offer compassion; it’s about lending a helping a hand, and being a friend, giving without looking for recognition. And above all it’s about love. And when we explore who we really are on the inside we are much more effective in the world. We learn. We love. We live.

We call it a book club.
And it is—sort of. It’s about opening your mind to new ideas, being willing to learn about something you know nothing about. It’s about learning to bend, to accept that ours is not the only way. It’s about challenging our beliefs, our thoughts, and our morals.

We call it a book club, because everything has to be called something, and book club is much shorter than the post I’ve just written.

Do you belong to a book club? How has that experience been for you?

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27 Comments

  1. carmen

     /  July 30, 2014

    I like this, Laura – it resonates with me. Yes, we all DO relate to one another on an emotional level. I think this is why we read Blogs – we can relate to the people who write on the blog, the people who respond (even if our reaction to some comments is, “Wow – where’d they get THAT from?”), and construe meaning within our own ‘selves’. . yes, I like that. Good post!

    Reply
  2. I have often thought it might be nice to join a book club, other than ones to only buy books, but I read a lot now on my own, mostly for reviewing. This means I don’t get the added bonus of discussion about the book, and I wish I knew how to get that going on my blog, but .. oh well. I am reading and sharing in my individual way, even if just talking to myself.
    I’m glad for you that you started a book club and are enjoying it. Great post, Laura! Book club is a great (short) name for your reading group. :)

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lynn. The book club was actually started by our minister. We’ve been reading some interesting titles, ones I would never choose to read otherwise. However, the conversations are always interesting regardless of our individual thoughts on a book. I love what you do on your blog, and your book reviews are so well written, something I fear I’d never be able to do nearly as well as you!

      Reply
  3. Judi

     /  July 30, 2014

    I think it’s a great name. But as you know I’m not a reader, unless it’s how to do a new pattern. LOL But I do read your books, because you wrote them, and I must confess that I liked them. Also, they were fairly short so I could really enjoyed reading them to the end. The “Book Club” was a bit too much for me, I didn’t think I could read a book a month. Then you know me, I’m not into speaking up in a group. I have a lot of crafts to finish before Christmas to read books. But it looks good on you..xoxo

    Reply
    • Book clubs aren’t for everyone, Judi. No need to apologize. Just so long as you read my books! And let’s hope I never get the urge to write too many words. ;)

      Reply
  4. Book clubs are great for all the reasons you stated. I attend one but not on a regular basis. When I do I’m always glad I did. Hearing other individual’s take on a book is refreshing and for me, it’s also a chance to make new friends. Great post!

    Reply
    • Yes, they are great, Darlene. It’s always good to hear another person’s perspective. Many times someone else will see something that we didn’t or help us to see something in a totally different way. Congrats on your latest book launching, Darlene. I’m so happy for you. :) I hope your mom is feeling better.

      Reply
  5. I did, years ago. I miss those people. Some are gone now, or very ill. It was a productive, inspiring group.

    Reply
    • Our group is also inspiring, Joylene! Isn’t it wonderful how , when people get together, we so often bring out the best in one another. :)

      Reply
  6. Very wise post – I vote that you start working on a collection of thought-full essays – help the rest of us figure out the meaning of life:) I’m at the lake if you want to connect some rainy day.

    Reply
    • I gave a little chuckle, Jan. I’m not sure how “wise” my writing is but thanks for the vote of confidence. :) I’m certainly hoping we’ll soon get together. I’ll be in touch soon. :)

      Reply
  7. What a beautiful and inciteful post, Laura. I’m going now to share this on Facebook.

    Reply
  8. I joined an online book club once, but it’s not the same as people meeting in person and getting to know one another. Your book club sounds like a great group of people with at least one common bond. Blessings to you, Laura…

    Reply
    • WE have had as many as 22 come to our meetings. The numbers vary, but we always have a great discussion. I’m so happy to be a part of it. Blessings to you as well, Carol Ann. :)

      Reply
  9. Love your perception of “The Book Club” … very well put. Yes, I love my book club but we don’t meet twelve months a year, only eight. I miss the members between and start reading for one year as soon as the current one it done. The books are a treat, but the reaction of each member is sweeter. Enjoy … it’s a good tihng :)

    Reply
    • Life is rarely about what we think it is. At least that’s the way I see it. :)

      Many of the members have been reading ahead of schedule, too. I guess if you like to read it’s sometimes difficult to resist. I was so pleased when we decided to have a book club.

      Reply
  10. No, I’ve never been able to commit to getting the reading done in a timely manner. But you’re right, we make ourselves do too many other things. I’m glad you shared your experience.

    Reply
    • So far most of us have been doing good at getting the reading done in a timely manner, but even when someone doesn’t finish a book they come to sit in on the discussion.

      Reply
  11. This is a wonderful reminder to carve out me time. Everyone needs comforting downtime and what better way than with a group of women who soon become friends as well as readers together.

    Girl time. I had a book club once that survived for almost ten years. It developed into a deeper friendship of six women but always, always there were books to discuss. I miss the club. I would have enjoyed a male or two in the group but for a different perspective but it all worked out wonderfully just as it evolved.

    Reply
    • I do believe that “me” time is important and yet it’s often the first thing we ignore when we’re strapped for time. Most of us are guilty of that at one time or another. There is always to many other things to take care of. I know people who talk themselves into believing that they are just SO busy, and I’m sure it’s true. Of course it is. But we can only be as busy as we really want to be.

      When I was invited to one book club that was reading “Flying” there was a man present in the group. You’re right, it was interesting to hear a man’s perspective about my book especially since it wouldn’t typically be a book many men would choose to read.

      Reply
      • My sister and her husband in Vancouver started a couples book club quite a few years ago. Must ask if it is still going strong. It used to be a potluck and book chat on a Sunday afternoon. It sounds delightful to me.

        Reply
        • A couples book club sounds very interesting and you certainly can’t go wrong with a potluck. :)

        • They’re away now, celebrating an anniversary. Must ask if the book club is still in “session’. <3
          I think the male perspective would be interesting.

  12. Torry Sullivan

     /  July 31, 2014

    I so like the book club. It is pushing me to read books I normally wouldn’t read.

    Reply
    • Torry, I think it’s SO wonderful. And yes, we are all reading books we wouldn’t normally read. I think last week’s selection proved that. Yet the conversation was still very enlightening. Really looking forwrd to some of the books on our upcoming list. So glad you’re a part of it. :)

      Reply

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