The Loneliness of Being a Reader
When I first moved to Atlanta after college, I had a hard time adjusting to the real world. Most of my best friends were spread out around the Southeast and that first year was hard for me. So when a friend from high school suggested I join her book club, I was all for it. Talking about books and meeting some new friends? I was thrilled. For a few months, that book club was great. We went through a long phase of thrillers, which admittedly is not my favorite genre. But then after a few months, the group kind of fell apart. A couple people moved away, some got new jobs, and one or two of us got engaged, and it just became harder to get together regularly. Granted, most of the evenings were just talking, drinking wine, and eating cheese, more than an actual discussion of the book, which I was okay with if I wasn’t particularly invested in the book.
Fast forward a few years, I was reading a ton of books. I went through a really rough year in 2016 at work, and my default de-stressor was reading. I started reading a lot of James Potter and Lily Evans fan-fiction, which was actually delightful. Those two crazy kids are everything. But I digress. I have always been a big reader, but it would come in phases; I would read several books in a few weeks, then binge-watch a new series on Netflix for a while, before picking a new book up. But starting in 2016, my reading life changed. I stopped watching as much television and made reading a priority. I joined the library, started following book blogs, discovered several great reading podcasts, and basically became a true reader. But as much as I have found a great online book community through blogs, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter, I still miss a real-life book club. Two of my best friends and I try to get together once a month to talk books, but lately, we just get together to hang out. And as much I love those times, I still crave an in-person book discussion.
Sometimes being a reader can be lonely. I am an introvert and generally prefer to be alone or in small groups, but lately, I’ve been itching for a real-life book club. I spend a lot of time on Goodreads and Twitter (and obviously book blogs) and have found some wonderful fellow readers there, but sometimes I just want to sit with a glass of wine and talk about how much I loved The Secret History and if I really trust Richard as a narrator. Or I need to commiserate about how Snape still is a horrible person and Harry really should not have named his child after him. Or I want to talk about the complexities of criminal justice reform because I loved Just Mercy or discussing end-of-life care because Being Mortal forever changed my view on medicine. These are things I’ve written about or chimed in on Twitter, but I just miss sitting in a room with others and talking about books. My husband can only listen to me so much about books before it is just me talking at him. But nevertheless, I’ll keep reading in hopes of finding a good book club one day.
So if anyone in Atlanta is in need of a book club, please let me know. I’m dying to get back into one!