Mom’s Book Club

Sometimes an over-night getaway is not possible or so far in the future that an evening or afternoon’s break is a necessary booster. The occasional mini-break is welcome and one that is calendared monthly, like a Women’s Book Club, is even better. Book Clubs can function as a steady staple for girlfriend socializing. Who doesn’t like a fun gathering that features food, drinks, gossip and even a little bit of “on topic” discussion?

I love the idea of a book club. I enjoy looking at books sentinel like as they stand guard in stacks around my bedroom. And, I have attempted to join the fun over the years, but one thing keeps getting in the way for me – the reading part. Reading four pages at a time before I fall asleep at night doesn’t bring me to the finish line of preparation for club discussions. Somehow, I have never found a way to move book club reading to the top of my “spare moment” priority list, yet I would love the guaranteed monthly fun with girlfriends.

As motherhood advanced along and concerns over creating readers (as opposed to being one) moved into the forefront, I discovered a book club with the appropriate pace and commitment level – a mother/son group with my 5th grader. I concluded that the content could be read quickly and in spurt-of-the moment opportunities such as 20-minute intervals while waiting for soccer practice to end. With great study guides and questions readily available on-line, I finally found a book club niche that fit my reading availability and, along with the mother/son bonding, had girlfriend time for the moms.

Another benefit of the club is that the reading list expanded my repertoire for interesting conversation starters. It is unlikely that I would be toting World War Z or Eagle Strike in my purse without the assignment. Thanks to my book club group I understood the article in the Seattle Times that talked about the quarterly Humans vs. Zombies games that play across the University of Washington campus. Boy did I feel hip, or is it that the book is sick LOL.

I love that my son and I have an enjoyable shared interest and activity (three years now) that we can regularly count on. And, there has been an unexpected side benefit – the adult-only component. When we started this club the mothers congregated for a kick-off planning session at a local wine-bar, Cellar 46. The get-together was so much fun that after our first few book club meetings we discussed the need for more “planning sessions”. The boys began to inquire why the moms looked forward to the club planning meetings that were sans books and sons! We delicately explained that moms need time to just be “girls.” We were not hijacking the club; we were just enhancing the mom component! The book club is still going strong and we regularly schedule one planning session for each book club meeting.

 There is no way we would ever give up “moms only” night with the “club.”

Carol Lewis Gullstad  – December 13, 2010

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