We are all about a book club. Let’s be honest not only is it super cool to read good books, but it’s also a great excuse to get together and nosh on some cheese and sip vino. (While, of course talking about the book.) I’ve been in all sorts of book clubs and the ratio of book talking to wine drinking always varies and is always enjoyable.
But, one thing I’ve learned over the years is that often times one of my favorite points to talk on is not even the book itself, but the experience my vinas and I had while reading the book. How it rocked our world. How it changed us. How it forced me to cry on the bus ride to work one morning. How it reminded me of my mother.
Falling in love with a good book is like any good love affair. It literally takes over. You find yourself sneaking a few pages in between conference calls, staying up late and reading under the sheets, thinking about it while you drive. It’s an incredible experience and one you will never forget.
All of this is what Girls At The Library is all about, and we are beside ourselves with how lovely this site is. It celebrates the experience of reading, the art of being changed by words. “It is an online magazine that delves into the individual worlds of avid readers who identify as female.” The site focuses on a series of interviews that tell the tale of falling in love with literature and the epic affect it has on our lives, book by book.
A little taste: My Story, On White Oleander: I was living at the beach when my sister gave me White Oleander, by Janet Fitch. We’d just moved to a beach town south of Los Angeles and I couldn’t hardly see myself there. I don’t remember much else about that time other than buying Snapple across the street at a liquor store and lying on the beach with this book all afternoon for days at a time. I’d never seen someone do something so holy with language as Janet Fitch had done in those pages. I’d never been a given a place so perfectly. She gave me California, the Santa Anas, and nailed the indescribable longing I was carrying around with me. I’ve read the book five times since then. And it gets better every time.
This is just an shadow of how good the pieces are on GAL. Their stories will remind you of why you were drawn to the page in the first place. And maybe it’s been a long time since that happened to you, or maybe no time at all. Either way, you’ll find yourself reaching for that hardcover soon as you’re finished there. They also have an incredibly curated reading list that we recommend using to start up your book club. These things usually need a pioneer, so why not have that someone be you?
A few great things to consider for book club: rotating houses and snack duties, breaking a book into sections over a month because we’re busy ladies, choosing something that will make you think, feel, and talk because the hard stuff is the good stuff sometimes. I like to start my book clubs now with this exercise inspired by GAL. Invite everyone over and open a nice bottle of vino and go around in a circle, 7th grade style, and tell you story, hey even bring that tattered old copy with you (if you’re like me and you’ve been lugging it around for ten years.) It’s amazing the things you’ll remember and delightful the stories you’ll hear. Enjoy, my vinas!
Want to start your own bookclub? Make some friends on Hey! VINA and connect with other bookworms!