Today is The Unputdownable Book Club’s third anniversary (!!!).
After three years, 36 meetings, over 40 members (past & present) and an obscene amount of cheese consumed, I think I can speak for all of us when I say how proud we are to be celebrating our third birthday.
I’m one of six “founding members” who were lucky enough to be at that very first meeting. Just a handful of us, timidly clutching our book picks and making small talk over homemade appetizers. None of us, (except maybe Julia), had any idea that book club would turn into our favourite Sunday of the month. That it would result in some of the most wild parties we’ve ever been to. Or, most importantly, it would allow us to make friends we’ll likely have for the rest of our lives.
To say that book club has evolved into much more than just a monthly discussion about literature would be an understatement.
Because somewhere between the debates on Vonnegut, Franzen, Barnes and Hemingway – between bashing E.L James, laughing with Jenny Lawson and crying with Lawrence Hill – between furthering a love of reading, of dynamic characters and of expertly crafted prose – we found something a little more special.
We found friendships.
It may seem inevitable when you put a group of intelligent, outspoken and passionate women in one room, but what makes book club friends so special is how we are all so different, all at such varying stages of life, but all have one common love that threads us together.
On a day like today, it’s only fair to give a special mention to one special person that if we didn’t have, this book club would cease to exist.
I still remember when Julia turned to me in class, right before completing our undergrad degrees, and asked: “If I started a book club, would you join?” I think the reason that pushed me to respond a resounding “Yes!” is much like that of many of the girls who have joined over the years: a desire to remember what it’s like to read for fun.
As almost all of us can boast a university degree (or two!) we’d fallen victim to academia and had lost that irreplaceable feeling of curling up with a book, getting lost in the pages and falling in love with words inside.
But without Julia, without that one person to invite the right people, organize the meetings, bring them to order, create the Facebook group, dream up the blog, manage the spreadsheets (yes, this actually happens) and then be the face of The Unputdownable Book Club when it makes it’s way to the television screen – well, it would, like so many book clubs before it, crumble at the seams.
At three years, when I think of “book club” I may think of that time Erin picked the worst book ever, the time we live tweeted with author Lauren Davis after reading Our Daily Bread or when Nancy Richler signed our copies of The Imposter Bride.
But even more likely, I’m reminded every time I sip from one of the wine glasses I received at our last Christmas party gift exchange. I smile every time I see the card on my mantle that all the girls signed for my birthday. I’m thankful when I make a recipe that I just had to have after eating someone else’s delectable potluck item. And I love the framed photo in my bedroom of our triumphant flip cup team at one of our legendary sleepovers.
Because you can read the posts about how to start a book club, how to run a book club meeting and how to make your book club successful, but just like a really good book can change your life, so can the people in your book club.
Oct. 3 may be our third anniversary, but just think about how many more memories, hilarious stories and unforgettable times we’ll have when we celebrate year 10, 20 and 30.