So as the founder, organizer, overall pioneer of London’s biggest Women’s book club… I have an opinion on just about every book, ever written. I feel justified in my opinions, erroneously perhaps, as I am not sure how my unique position gives me the entitlement to slate them … but I do as I please and as I said before, feel vindicated, if not obligated to do so.
How did this all happened? Well, I landed on the island about four years ago. I came as a result of meeting an English boy three years my junior in Africa of all places. It was supposed to be an amazing cross country safari that was due to last 21 days… and yet here I am, 1866 days later and the adventure continues. When I arrived in London, I quickly realized that I had zero friends and a situation that I found inexplicably difficult. Who was I supposed to go out for brunch with, who was I suppose to shop and gossip with? I am originally from Toronto, Canada and my best friends have been the same since my public school days. Meeting people in London proved to be quite a challenge as I worked at a very small PR firm and didn’t meet many people through the regular channels such as work or school. I was looking for a book club to join as I belonged to one back in Toronto but I couldn’t find one that sat quite right with me.
I decided London needed an all women’s book club that met conveniently in the centre of London once a month. We would read chick lit but also expand our literary libraries by reading books that most of us would never pick up off the book shelve. We would be a group of women, maybe 7 or 8 that would bond over the likes of Dickens, Kinsella and big glasses of red wine. We would be inseparable and discover London together. Or so I thought. But the idea was too big to contain and so after my first month, I already had 100 members, and I continue to let the group grow and grow and grow. Today, three years later the group has over 1700 members. We meet once a month and approx 50 women show up to any one meeting. We have a charity which the group support and we have authors speak every other month. Each month we do a book swap where the women bring in books they wish to trade in for new ones. There is also a raffle for next month’s book; the proceeds go towards funding the club, as it’s completely free to attend.
But the best thing about the book club is the friendships. Women from the ages of 20 to 40 gather together and get to know each other. Our club is like the United Nations, one meeting we had representatives from over 14 countries, a lot like London itself. We have members from all over the world but we also see a lot of British ladies who may have just moved to the city or simply love to read. Not only have I formed my own group of friends but I’ve seen so many other relationships form. One of our long standing members found her bridal party in the book club!
So please feel free to join one of our many clubs – now active in 10 cities across the world!