Last night was one of my favorite evenings of the month: Book Club. As the night drew to a close, I polled the crowd for today’s blog topic.
“You should write an ode to book club,” one fellow member said.
No joke, I’ve actually had plans in the works to do just that.
So, here, a limerick for your enjoyment.
There once was a girl who loved reading
New people she had trouble meeting
She joined a new book group
They drank wine and ate soup
Their friendships were not even fleeting
Can you believe I composed the entire thing during the cab ride home? That’s some poetic prowess. Watch out Shel Silverstein Billy Collins.
But the reality is that book clubs do deserve an ode. As do cooking clubs or knitting clubs or any other club you might form (um, Babysitters?) that provide some consistency of meeting.
I formed my first book club when I lived in New York. Matt and I had broken up for a few months and I was looking for a social outlet to meet new friends and take my mind off the boy troubles. We ended up gathering a group of about 10 people, and over the next few years the members—the majority of whom I didn’t know previously—became some of my closest friends. (A quick search of old emails tells me that the very first book club meeting of that group was on 11/10/2004. Six years old in one week!)
I’ve since moved, of course (as have almost all the original members), but I’ve found two book clubs in Chicago that provide similar female bonding time. And I’ve inadvertently formed a cooking club.
If you’re on a BFF search but pressed for time, forming groups like this—centered around whatever you might be passionate about—is probably your best option. There are a few important reasons why:
1) You meet new people. When I started my book club, I invited two friends to form it with me. Each of us then invited two people the others didn’t know.
2) There’s consistency. It’s impossible to forge a true friendship without it. Recall Shasta Nelson’s rule: You need to see someone twice a month for three months before you will call them a friend. I buy it, but I’d amend it to say that the math here works: 2x/month for 3 months=1x/month for 6 months=4x/month for 1.5 months. So while once-a-month clubs take a little bit to pick up in the friendship department, they work.
3) In the early days when no one knows each other, you’ll have something—The Help, grilled cheese, the scarf you’re making for your niece—to discuss.
So if there are other seekers out there, I urge you to pick your passion and form your group. Who knows, it could even turn you into a modern-day Longfellow.
Have you ever formed a club of any sort? Do you want to? Share success stories—and any questions!—here.