One week ago, I launched my book club, Readers & Shakers. It all started with a dream and a blind invitation to women in New York City who love to read. I chose a few web-based platforms and posted “Join with Caution: This book club may lead to making new friends, traveling, fem-preneurship, and reading wine labels…” In less than month, membership has ballooned to 63 Readers & Shakers and counting.
I required a short questionnaire to join to get familiar with our demographics & interests and scheduled a meet & greet at a French bistro in Harlem. 14 members RSVP’d, so I expected 4. I’m not the Grinch that stole book clubs, ok; I asked experienced people about their turn-out rates, lol. Brunch was scheduled for 1:00 pm on Sunday and I was there at noon casing the joint. If anyone at all actually showed up for my first meet-up, everything had to be perfect.
One by one, my table for 10 filled up! Oh sh*t!
Not only did I get quantity, but I got quality… well, I asked for readers, duh. We had teachers in the house, a wine importer (yas, jackpot!), a waitress/jack of all trades, etc. We represented every borough and we even had a member who just moved here from London. Can you guess which one she is in the photo? We were super diverse and had an amazing afternoon threaded by our common love to read (or a desire to start reading). The conversation got deep as several members expressed their attraction to the group: everything from wanting to escape the pressures of daily life to building relationships with like-minded women. I vowed to make our book club reads live with us forever.
I took votes on several aspects that would steer the direction of our club, and finally, the book vote. And the winner is *drumroll*… #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t pick the fiction/thriller that was in the running. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a “real reader” because I’m more drawn to non-fiction rather than the magical, whirlwind, lands of fiction and literature. In my head I have to hire a bookstore manager at Lit. BookBar because who would really want to talk to factual me about books? Hmm, judging from the reaction to my curated selection I might just cut it. I am, however, looking forward to this club influencing me to explore other genres.
If you attended our first brunch… thank you from the bottom of my heart for your genuine support of my vision for this club & my bookstore plans, your ideas, and your enthusiasm for what’s to come. If you’re a new member… welcome!