In sixth grade my friend Chelsea gave me Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone for my birthday. I wasn't really a sci-fi kind of kid, and I remember being like um, ok? That my friends, is why I don't work in publishing. But it taught me something amazing, the joy of sharing a book.
Now, every time I finish something I love, I immediately pass it along to my girlfriends. If not the actual book (although that's my preferred method) then at least the recommendation (I am a sucker for the convenience of a Kindle).
A few weeks ago my friend sent me The Fault In Our Stars for my birthday. It's a story about a girl who has terminal cancer, and as someone who avoids emotionally laced content at any cost, I would've never picked it up on my own. But, of course I read it (sobbing periodically) and loved it.
Inspired by my gift, I sent another friend* The Interestings for her birthday last week. It all got me thinking about book clubs. I have never officially been a member of one, but have I realized that as my friends and I read, and talk, and share we have inadvertently created our own pseudo club. Especially now when we are spread out among different cities, the idea of having a shared set of experiences (albeit in a book) feels even more important. So much so that I am committed to starting a new tradition: books for birthdays. It's something I've done sporadically in the past, but it's time to make it more deliberate.
Do you have a tradition like this? Are you a member of a book club (traditional or not)?
Here are a few of the books my friends and I have passed around.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (and all David Sedaris books)
Bitter is the New Black (and all of Jen Lancaster books)
Something Borrowed (and all Emily Giffin books)
I'd love for your to share some of your favorite books in the comments today!
*They're both named Jess. I'm not trying to be cryptic. Just attempting to keep things easy here.
**The photo is from the book The Ideal Bookshelf, a cool coffee table book of famous people's favorite books.