We have moved across the country four times in the past five years. (Hence the stack of library cards and book boxes under my bed.) One of the first things I look for in a new place is a book club. Being among readers helps me connect to a new home. In an ideal world, I would find more than just a group of book-loving friends. I am always on the lookout for my literary soul mate(s). To improve my chances of finding “the one” (or more), I’ve created a short list of things I’m looking for in my perfect match:
Reads my kind of books. There is always an awkward pause while I consider my choices when someone asks what kind of books I like. Not all adults read YA. I do. If I start there, am I ruining my chances at continued conversation? Some people run from classics, while I thrive on occasional discussion of metaphor. If she reads exclusively non-fiction and I’m halfway through a four-book fantasy series, we may not have enough in common to make a long-term literary relationship work.
Relishes passionate discussion. I need something more out of this relationship than a summary and starred rating. I want someone who will debate the merits of the Alice-Gina relationship with me after reading What Alice Forgot too. (I still haven’t decided if I think their friendship is healthy and I want to discuss!) The ability to vehemently disagree on a book but still remain friends is equally important. If I’m too afraid to share a book because she might not like it, we may not be compatible after all.
Is the geek to my nerd. I enjoy all sorts of books, but my heart belongs to epic fantasy. I share book recommendations with plenty of friends who don’t care for fantasy and vice versa. To be a perfect fit, though, my literary soul mate should to be someone who will nerd out with me. Who else will go to a midnight showing of The Name of the Wind when it gets turned into a movie? In other words, this:
Has different interests too. It is so nice to be able to commiserate about how embarrassing it was to finish Me Before You in public, but it is even better to find a friend who can suggest a follow-up read I’ll love. If we read all the same book blogs and authors, I won’t have anything new to recommend to her either. Bonus points if she suggests something I haven’t even heard about yet.
We are nine months into our most recent move, and I’m loving my current book club so far. With any luck, as we discuss books over the next few months, I’ll find a literary soul mate that has been looking for me too.