I Love... Book Club
Dear Portland “FYA” Book Club,
I <3 you.
Our meetings are my favorite event every month. I’m not exaggerating one bit. If I only got to see my husband and cat/Kindle stand once a month, you might have some competition, but since I see them every day, there’s no contest.
I know it seems like perhaps you are not a priority since I have a tendency to begin reading the monthly selection only four hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin. But truly, there is nothing else on my calendar each month that I prioritize more.
I love that every time we meet, we have avid, enlightening exchanges about anything and everything having to do with reading culture, including all sorts of books that Sarah generously keeps track of in her ever-handy notebook, publishing, and book stores, along with banter on Very Important topics such as Justin Timberlake and The Vampire Diaries.
I love that our gatherings run so long and late that those of us who are married often feel compelled to bring home dinner, chocolate bourbon hazelnut pie, and/or a Dairy Queen blizzard for our wonderful, understanding husbands.
I love that when Sarah and I decided to subvert our FYA overlords due to their political selection of unappealing books, you were all on board with our coup.
I love that no one considered not meeting during the craziness of the holiday season, which was a possibility that I actually stressed out about beforehand due to my overly anxious tendencies.
Most of all, I love that all y’all seem to love book club as much as I do.
And to think, for quite awhile, it seemed like the logistics were never going to work out for us.
When Sarah and I decided that we wanted become a part of Portland’s FYA branch, it was partially an excuse to meet each other in person for the first time. We’d come oh-so-close to crossing paths at the Rose Garden Arena once, but didn’t realize we had both attended the Blazers game until after we had both departed the arena. So meeting up by joining the Portland, OR branch of the national FYA book club seemed like the ideal solution. We didn’t realize just how ideal at the time; we simply figured that we’d have a grand old time drinking beer, munching on tater tots and meeting other bookish folk with whom to share
snarky commentary thoughtful discourse on the book selection every month.
But at first, we found ourselves foiled at every turn. We anxiously checked the schedule every month for updates, only to realize that while the branch existed on FYA’s google docs spreadsheet, there was NEVER a meeting time listed for the Portland location. Finally, after many e-mails with various FYA-associated folks, including one with a Very Disturbing e-mail address, we were made aware that the Portland branch was defunct and in desperate need of a Leader. Sarah, being the Queen of Everything and all, was the
only one willing obvious choice to take on this Very Meaningful role.
Then, delightfully, Sandra, Sarah’s actual mom and my Portland mom, decided she wanted in on the fun. And THEN exciting intro music SOMEONE WE DIDN’T KNOW e-mailed to say they wanted to join in on our
shenanigans thoughtful discussions on carefully selected young adult novels.
That “someone” was Rebeca, aka Renegade, who easily found our small booth at a local bar thanks to Sarah’s charming, handwritten “FYA Book Club sign” that she taped to the wall. Within two hours, Renegade had,
- filled out our Book Matchmaker form, then in its infancy,
- been made aware of the Greatest-TV-Show-Ever-To-Exist’s existence, and
- been peer-pressured into becoming a CEFS contributor.
Oh, and as would become the norm, we deviated from FYA’s assigned discussion questions and moved right on to the more important topic of Marcus Flutie’s dreadlocks, which of course segued to commentary (led by his most ardent admirer Sandra) on Gerald Wallace’s braids.
“This is it!” I thought with delight, “A veritable meet-cute of book nerds! The extra-curricular activity requiring me to leave the house that I’ve been searching for!”
I giddily anticipated our next meeting, in which we proudly graduated from our puny 4-person booth due to the lovely Linsey unexpectedly, but oh-so-awesomely joining our ranks. That month, and every month since, as we have grown to include Julie and Jen and transitioned from tater tots to Australian pie, I have had the most marvelous time during our gatherings, despite the fact that we cannot seem to find a place that will split our checks for us so that none of us math-challenged book nerds are forced to do arithmetic.
I love how every month, my already out of control to-read list increases by ten due to your astute recommendations, some in genres that I never knew existed before I met y’all.
I love our special brand of complementary diversity that allows us to have witty, nuanced discussions on topics ranging from ghostwriting to the marvel that is Tami Taylor’s hair.
I love that we have so much giggling, snarky fun that we annoy all the other patrons at the restaurant who wish they knew how to have as much fun as we do every month.
Thank you, Ladies.