“Do you want to join a book club?”
The question was asked by a college friend, wide-eyed over a Zoom call. Having more time than ever before, I agreed, having no preconception of what a book club really entailed. Little did I know that it would become a big source of light during the pandemic. We are an international, coed, multicultural (i.e. American, Dominican, Mexican) group of 7 people in our early 20s. I am told that this is not a typical book club demographic, but, well, somehow we make it work. It has been very fulfilling. Despite the fact that social lives have been temporarily reduced to pixels on a screen, meaningful, beautiful gatherings and connections are still possible.
Our club works in the following way: we suggest and vote for books through WhatsApp. Then, we meet through Zoom on a weekly basis. Each session is led by a different member. We read a wide range of genres (from poetry to futuristic novels to biographies to short stories).
After the hour-long book discussions, we generally go off on unexpected, interesting, silly tangents. Besides respecting each other as fellow book club members, we now respect each other as friends. I learn just as much from these tangents as I do during the book discussions!
Our topics include racial perspectives, grad school, traditions, food, and music from our respective countries, responses to COVID, New Year resolutions, etc. Since we read the books in English and discuss them in Spanglish, we also talk about languages, expressions, and accents. We all hope to meet in person someday. Until then, we will continue reading and meeting virtually on Sunday nights.
A Simple Invitation
This new, grounding safe space was formed through one simple invitation. You never know what can happen if you say yes or reach out a hand. This book club has helped me appreciate human adaptability and it has given me so much excitement for reading. I don’t know about you, but gaining motivation and maintaining concentration while reading during COVID has been an ongoing challenge. Having weekly reading goals holds each member accountable, which makes the process easier and more enjoyable. The unknown, seemingly apocalyptic future feels irrelevant when you’re in the zone. You read chapter after chapter, knowing that you will chat and laugh about these pages with friends at the end of the week.
If you are hoping to enhance a general sense of wellbeing during these crazy times, creating or joining a virtual book club, or any club for that matter, could be a really great option. Best wishes for you!
Consider using this time to get really curious about who you want to be right now and what is yours to do. Remain curious about any feelings that arise during these uncertain times. Now is the perfect time to work with a life coach who can help you strengthen the connections to yourself and others in your world. If you know a teen or a college-aged young woman who could use some guidance and support, visit my website WillseyConnections.com for more information and let’s connect.