What do you do when your 8-year-old daughter asks you to start a book club with the parents of her 8-year-old friends? You start a book club with women you barely know!
The book club I’m part of has been going strong for 14 years. When Oprah was starting to talk about her book clubs and schools were beginning to create extracurricular book clubs, our girls loved the idea. They wanted to have a book club and wanted their moms to have one too. We had no idea how to start a book club, but that’s exactly what we did. After lots of brainstorming, we created our own system and our own routine. Fourteen years later, our book club has become more important to me than I ever would have imagined.
Over the years, we’ve provided love and support to one another through the trials and tribulations of our lives. We have shared laughter and tears. We have helped raise our children together. We have met religiously about every six weeks (except during the height of COVID).
Our families refer to it as “wine club.” Whatever! Ok, there is usually wine involved. We may only talk about the book for four or five minutes, but it doesn’t really matter. The best part about book club is our time together and the connections and friendships we have made. Another wonderful benefit is that we are ALL so very different. We like different types of books and styles of writing. With the club, I have read books I never would have thought to read. I myself am a sucker for a romance novel! They all groan a bit when I pick the book, but I know, secretly, they love it.
Whoever is hosting usually themes a beautiful table and a meal that goes along with the book in some fashion. For example, I hosted a night where we read Paul Riser’s book Parenthood. I printed off pictures of all the ladies’ families and pinned them on a board in the dining room. I also put a picture of their family at their spot on the table. The food was served homestyle as a family would eat. There are also occasions when our meetings are much more simple. For example, I recently hosted and just ordered Panera soup and sandwiches. It’s not necessarily about what’s on the table or within the pages of the book, it’s about who is gathered around the table with me. I love hosting my girlfriends. They’re one of my support systems. We support one another and help one another. And, we laugh and laugh and laugh together.
Aside from the friendships that were started by our 8-year-old daughters many years ago, we have some other interesting accomplishments. We have read over 90 books. We have been together for 14 years. We are a small and elite group - only eight of us with no one else allowed to join. We have kept a scrapbook of our books read and who hosted each night. We have kept the tradition alive through so many ups and downs.
I am here to tell you these ladies are amazing. I am so grateful for our four little 8-year-olds who had the great idea of getting their moms together for a book club!
What I have Learned: Get yourself a group of amazing girlfriends and find something to do together. You won’t regret it.
Tania Farran is an educator, mom, business owner, and an author. Her blogs tell about balancing all of these things in life! Laugh or cry with her and maybe learn a thing or two.