Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#SOLC - My Book Club

I've heard many writers talk about exploring "writing territories", and I'm choosing to do that from time to time this month. I've written about my book club before, but as I think about the theme of relationships for my #SOLC, I need to explore my thinking about book club again.

Tonight was my turn to host Book Club. As I was rushing home from school to get out food and drink for the group, I couldn't help but reflect back to our beginnings.

Our group began about eight years or so ago when I sent out a letter to the staff at the school I was teaching, and asked if anyone was interested in participating in a book club. The response was a quite enthusiastic "yes" from many.

I hosted the inaugural gathering. I think back to that first group of women who gathered - we all worked in the same building; we had that common link and often talked about school issues in addition to the book.

Oh how times have changed! Many members of the group dropped out over the years - families grew and time became less available. Some of us began working at different schools in our district. At least five of our members have retired in this time span. We don't share the same school or employment anymore, but we are still going strong.

We have celebrated with each other as children graduated and got jobs. We celebrated when children got married. We rejoiced with those becoming grandparents (some of them multiple times). We provided sympathy when there was illness in a family or loss of loved ones.  We empathized when someone was having a difficult time and we laughed during joyful moments. We attended many retirement parties! :)

Tonight, only two members besides me could make it. At the beginning of our history together, that might have entailed a quick email to say book club was postponed until we could find a date when more people could attend. We are much wiser now. We understand that whether our attendance is three (such as tonight) or ten, the most important thing is to honor the date to which we committed to the best of our ability. If something else gets in the way, we understand and hope we will see our missing members the next time.

The conversation was rich tonight: pregnancy, engagement, children moving back to Central Ohio, and a cruise were some of the topics in which we engaged. As great as the book was, it only merited about 5 minutes of our conversation. There were just too many other things to share.

One simple email a little less than a decade ago has helped me forge relationships with these women I might not otherwise have developed. I look forward to Book Club because I know it is about far more than just discussing the book; it is about sharing our lives.

And for anyone interested in what we read this time (hi #nerdybookclub friends!), it was an oldie but goodie by Nelson DeMille, The Charm School. A great spy thriller! Our next book will be The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg, and the book after that will most likely be The Girl on the  Train.

For more slices, please head over to our gracious hosts' blog, Two Writing Teachers. Thanks to all of them for keeping us organized this month!

1 comment:

  1. Book clubs are very poweful in the classroom. I have never been part of one myself. I guess the opportunity never presente itself.m I saw how my students responded to book clubs last year. They were really mostly talking about the book they were reading, but the social interaction was powerful. Now that I have read your post I am really going to try and see if there is anything around whee I live. It sounds like a really enriching experience!m thank you for sharing!