About a year ago, I started a book club with a group of friends. The club was simple: One book a month, and we meet the first Wednesday to discuss, catch up with each other and drink wine. We’d rotate hosting and everyone would bring a bite and a bottle. No hard and fast rules about finishing the book or making the meeting. We all agreed — we’re not your grandmother’s book club. We would be the “chill” book club.
Twelve months later, we’ve read 11 books (because one was an 800-page Stephen King novel that got a unanimous month-long extension) and met a dozen times from my pool (which was a great summer idea) to a La Madeline (after a very French book), as well as all our homes. We’ve all skipped a book or two (I am guilty—I bought one on my Kindle, then accidentally stepped on it, cracking the screen. Wasn’t until the next book that I bought another), but it’s always one of our top priorities. Book club don’t play.
Anyways, looking back at the last year of book club got me thinking: Wow, how much has changed… You know how you’re SOO studious at the beginning of the semester? You know, you take so many notes and you have four colored pens and highlighters and ample notebook space. Then five or so weeks in you’re lucky if you even make it to class let alone bring the right notebook. Wait, is this just me?
Anyways, here’s book club then and now:
On deciding what book to read next
This discussion takes longer than the actual book discussion. Pinterest is consulted, dozens of descriptions are read aloud, fights erupt, more wine is poured, a list of 7 titles is decided and then everyone anonymously ranks their pics and an elected member reads and calculates the results. One to two members who didn’t get their first pick side eyes the gloating girl. More wine is poured.
One girl: “Hey what was that one book theSkimm recommended? Yes, let’s do that one.”
The others: “Okay.”
On planning the menu
A theme is decided based on the book and the host delegates the provision responsibilities. Everyone discusses what type of wine they will bring to ensure variety.
“I think they had pizza one time in the book. Let’s order pizza.” Everyone brings a bottle of whatever. (Usually we end up with only prosecco and that’s fine.)
On figuring out who’s turn to host it is
After the most Type A member volunteers, a list is formed in descending order from most responsible to least (FYI, I’m last in my book club). Facebook events are made with months in advance.
Someone: “I feel like it’s your turn.”
Another: “I literally just hosted.”
Finally, the host is determined by looking into past communications.
A group text is started by the HBIC and everyone uses it to ask, “How far are y’all!?” ever so often.
The since-evolved GroupMe convo has grown to be a catch-all convo for the group. Gifs are sent, invites to go out, links to movie trailers of the books that have been read, and the occasional, “Y’all I finished the book soooo good” message is sent.
On the actual discussion
Someone printed out the guided discussion questions and everyone reviewed them in advance.
Someone tries to explain the plot to someone else who didn’t finish it, and then the discussion evolves into, “Remember when this happened?” and “OMG yes how crazy.”
On wine consumption
Six people, six bottles? Impossible… and yet. They’re all gone.
Well, I guess that didn’t changed.