I’ve always liked the idea of a book club but I never got invited to join one (could it be my company is not as sought after as I thought?) so I decided to start my own. I scouted out friends and neighbours whose company I enjoy and who I believed would enjoy such a gathering. I selected a book, and sent my email invitation to all 8 participants. (I wanted to keep it small and intimate) Our first meeting was this past week and it was a great success! (I think) Two members were unavailable for this first meeting, but that’s to be expected – there’s bound to be conflicts when you’re trying to coordinate numerous schedules.
On the day of our meeting I stocked up on the essentials; wine and cheese, then waited for my fellow bookworms to arrive. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Is there an agenda to these things? What are the rules around hosting a book club meeting? I read the book and bought the wine – isn’t that enough?
One by one my friends started arriving and with each addition, the volume of voices increased until my kitchen was alive with chatter and laughter. Some brought their book, along with notes they’d made for discussion (gotta love a keener!) others immediately launched into a hearty debate about who did what, and why the author was remiss in certain details. Two members bought the book but hadn’t yet read it so they just sipped their wine quietly until the subject moved to another topic, which it invariably did throughout the night.
Even Jesus made an appearance….yes, Jesus. He crashed my party! One member, a lovely woman of very strong catholic faith kept trying to find connections between the book and the bible but since she was one of the two who hadn’t read the book she struggled to convince us. (Ok, it didn’t help that we had two atheists in the crowd) Maybe if Jesus had read the book?
Our conversations strayed constantly. Who’s having their kitchen redone, why is the neighbours garbage still at the curb after being rejected 3 weeks in a row, and how much wine does it take to fully review a book? The ‘keener’ tried several times to interject with questions that brought us back to the topic of the book, and’ Holy Member’ kept quoting the bible in an effort to take us down another path. Now I should mention that this is all done in the spirit of fun and friendship. Our ‘Holy Member’ is strong of faith, but completely harmless, i.e., she doesn’t push anything, rather she simply loves her religion and wants the world to know. We playfully indulge her passion, and she in turn, takes our ribbing in stride. And the ‘keener’, well, she keeps law and order. This is a Book Club, after all, so some effort should be made to acknowledge the book. Eventually however, she too, gave up and just drank the wine, letting the conversation go where it wanted.
At the end of the night after we’d drunk all the wine and answered all the questions we’d had about the book, the neighbours, and Jesus, we called it a night, agreeing to meet again next month. A new book was chosen by another member and the location of our next meeting confirmed. Commitments were made by all to actually read the book, but we also agreed there’s no penalty for just enjoying the social aspects of the book club. Oh, and we also agreed unanimously that Jesus can join our book club if He wants to, but when it’s his turn to pick the book, it can’t be the bible, and He has to bring the wine!