Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

July 30, 2021

More Than a Book Club

book club

Words: Christen Hammons
Photo credit: Hayley Solano

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve struggled with making friends as an adult. I know I’m not alone. As an introvert, putting myself out there feels very vulnerable. How am I even supposed to meet people? What if this person already has enough friends? What if they just don’t like me? Friendships seemed to come so much more naturally when we were little and our bonds formed nearly instantaneously. 

Many of my friends are the wives of my husbands’ friends. While we always have a wonderful time doing things as couples, I’ve always wanted a group of girlfriends to share drinks or brunch with, something that was all my own. I felt a pull to bring the women in my lives together in some way, and so I did the bravest thing I’ve ever done and sent some text messages to some of my fellow wives and girlfriends: Do you want to start a book club? 

The replies came immediately, all enthusiastic yes’s, even from the women who had admitted to not reading a book in years. It seemed we all needed something for ourselves but not everyone felt comfortable admitting it. Each month we meet on a Saturday afternoon, leaving our partners and children at home. We talk about the selected book for a while, sharing our opinions and thoughts that often differ from one another, making it all the more interesting. Our conversation always shifts and we begin talking about our lives — what we’re up to as well as some of the things we may need advice on.

It’s not much — just a few hours— but it’s all mine. I know no matter how busy life gets, I have one afternoon a month when I can relax and chat with a group of women who have become some of my closest friends. When I first started the club, books gave us something to talk about when we weren’t always sure what to say. They’ve since become the stepping-stones to deeper conversations and friendships, and now I have something more than a book club.

Are you a part of a book club? Tell us about your literary group in the comments below!

Exciting news! Bella Grace will be announcing exciting activities for book lovers very soon. If you’d like to be the first to know about the bookish news, complete the form below:

Christen Hammons is editor-in-chief of Bella Grace. She lives in Orange County with her husband, two sassy cats, and one scruffy dog.

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Comments ( 8 )

  1. Julia

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I’m not in a book club, but I am in an online Women’s Circle and it’s so nourishing. It makes me think that a book club would also be wonderful to be part of – it’s just that I don’t like being told what to read I will absolutely consider it though!

  2. Ella Wilson

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I am reading books with friends online and discussing them. I would prefer the cozy gathering of kindred souls. I love this idea, it offers you the chance to see the book’s story with fresh eyes. I, too am an introvert, but someone who is extroverted may see the MC’s perspective differently.

    I’m currently reading, The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman. It’s based on a true story about an apartment in France, which was abandoned for 70 years. Can you imagine….well, here is a glimpse.

  3. Necee

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I’d love to be in a book club .I am a journal designer 36 years. I’m so busy all the time I don’t take time for myself ,not to even make friends .I do make friends with a lot of my customers but , there’s always room for more.

  4. Barbara

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    We’ve taught together, talked over our coffees,
    and brought books to share. We were new English
    teachers who became the AP teachers who became the retirees. Over the 30 years we’ve met, the group has shifted as old ones left or new ones entered, but we have remained the core three. Bookclub is an integral guiding force, our focal point even during a pandemic. Cherished friends, cherished thoughts, cherished times.

  5. MaryAnn Smith

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I love reading and creating! I love sharing books too.

  6. Lacie Megan Fitts

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I am an introvert (despite being a teacher) and three years ago I lost my best friend of 15 years (we had been friends since 6th grade), and I also lost my father two months prior to my friend. I have really struggled since that. I have a wonderful family, and an incredible husband, but there is a part of my social circle that is meaning and it is friends.

    When I was in high school I was active in my high school’s book club, and the trivia team (based solely on the books we read!). I even worked in the library for my high school as an aide, and was even invited to be the student representative on the media center committee. Books are my love language. My husband is a book lover as well, and while I could spend all my time talking to him about books, and education (he is a teacher as well), I still get feelings of isolation, of loneliness, because I am missing having friends to talk with about books, and other things.

    Your post gives me hope though that one day I will find my way back to my bookish community.

  7. Christina

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve always wanted to be in a book club, but no one ever invited me. I’m experiencing a joy of connectedness just at the thought!

  8. Naomi Shelton

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Interested to see how this works for me.

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