Moving to another country of course means leaving many many things that are precious to me. One of these things is my book club. So I thought I would write about that group of very special women who I have had the great honor of sharing my love of books with for many years. This is a group of like-minded women who I will miss dearly. I’ve been reminiscing about the beginning of my book club and my ever growing love of books.
I have been a voracious reader for many years! To say that I Love books is simply an understatement . For much of my adult life I have devoured almost any genre of literature that came my way. But this love of the written word was not always a part of my life. I was not one of those young children who poured over books at a young age. I really never remember reading much at all as a youngster. Those who know me now are likely very surprised by this revelation . But it’s true.
I remember when I was magically transformed into a lover of the written word! I was 23 years old and about a year or so into the biggest mistake of my life, my first marriage! Yikes! Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about the perils of a marriage gone terribly wrong, thats a whole different blog!, (and not one I’ll be writing!). I discovered that my father in law had a den upstarts in his home , and in that den there was a bookcase. In that bookcase I discovered a beautiful collection of old leather bound classics! I slowly began reading those books and voila ! A reader was born! Oh, what a discovery …… Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Little Women, Sense and Sensibility, David Copperfield, The Woman In White, The Scarlet Letter, Arabian Nights, and on and on and on! It was a beautiful form of escape from a disappointing reality. I was in heaven every time I opened one of those glorious books. There is really no genre of literature that I don’t like. Although Science Fiction doesn’t rate high on my list, I can’t discount it completely .
That’s a brief history of my evolution into an avid reader and lover of all things literature. Then in the early nineties a girlfriend of mine who lives in Morgan Hill,( the town where I grew up, about 45 min south of me) mentioned that she had joined a ‘book club’. Huh? At that time , it’s hard to believe , but book clubs weren’t nearly as commonplace as they are now. I only knew one other person who had told me about her long standing book club, Nancy Hoffman. I remember being really impressed and not a little envious of having a group of friends to regularly get together with and discuss books. Her group of like-minded readers had been, way back then, getting together to bond over literature for about 15 years! Wow! I thought that sounded so great! I remember being at a stage in my life, where I really missed having some sort of community to be a part of.
To me, community is very important. To be a part of something that connects me with like-minded people gives me great pleasure. So began my idea to start my own book club! Why not? I loved to read and I knew lots of other women who also loved to read! How hard could it be to simply gather these women together and form our own group? I sent out invitations to people I knew who were as in love with literature as me. “Let’s start a book club!”. Our very first meeting was at my home. I had snacks to munch on and plenty of wine to go around! That first group of “Holly’s book club” members consisted of about 10-15 women. I don’t remember exactly what year that was, but I’m guessing it was around 1995-96.
That original group of women and the current group , has shifted and changed dramatically through the many years of our meeting. As naturally happens with groups, there have been many many changes. People have moved, died, divorced , married, quit, and some have simply faded quietly away . What originally started out as ,” Holly’s Book Club” has slowly and gradually morphed into a group unto itself. A group made up of lovely women who enjoy gathering on a regular basis to not only discus literature but also to enjoy a meal and a glass (or two!) of wine and especially enjoy the company of each other. It’s turned into every bit a social group, not just a book discussion group. Which is lovely.
This group of women who have become a big part of my life, I’ll miss meeting with each month. We’ve shared many laughs, lots of yummy food, enlightening discussions, and just good ol’ camaraderie . Its good fun to read a book and then have people to discuss it with afterwords. I’m always surprised to discuss a book that I didn’t like and hear different perspectives only to gain a completely unexpected insight into a story . And then there is always the pleasure in communally relishing in a book that we all agree was beautifully written. Being a part of a community of like-minded women is something I know I’ll eventually seek out or create again in my new home. Although I know I will find a group of women to get together with and chat about books, I’ll miss my book club back here!