Sometime in January, I was going through a slightly more daring phase (extremely short lived!) in which I challenged myself to get out and meet more people. My social circle has dramatically reduced over the years and though sometimes I wonder if perhaps I am isolating myself too much, I am learning to cherish my solitude. In any case, I really wanted to meet more bookish folk in person so I signed up for a ‘Book Swap’ group via a popular social site, Meetup.
I was pretty nervous about the whole thing especially as I did not know what to expect from the experience. I worried that I wouldn’t have enough to say since I’d not been reading as voraciously now as I had been in the past. I worried whether anyone would be interested in the books I had decided I could bear to part with and that I thought someone else might appreciate. I generally worried.
I needn’t have.
I made my way to the agreed meeting point of a lovely London pub and held my breath as I made my way up to the hired ‘Function Room’ for the event. The room was busy and loud and I immediately felt like I wanted to run, until I noticed a group of about 5 friendly faces sitting in the corner. It was them. Of the 25 or so people who had signed up to attend, only 5 turned up.
I immediately felt at ease. We got drinks, places our offerings in the middle of our small table and started chatting. The organiser thought it might be a good idea to introduce ourselves and the books we had decided to bring.
I brought three books: One I loved, One I couldn’t finish and One I read which I loved to hate. It was so nice to have conversations with people about the books they loved and hated, various literary theories and the science of reading.
Is it possible to discuss a book you have never read?
Do you ever feel bad about not finishing books?
Overall, I was really pleased with the experience and actually thought that for a first experience of this type of thing, the fact that the group was a small size meant that you could have a decent conversation.
I wished there were more participants so that the pool of books to choose from in the ‘swap’ was a little deeper. Though I liked the ability to have a deeper conversation with a smaller group of people.
I’m looking forward to the next one (as I’ve missed one in between!)
Till next post,
Have any of you attended a swap (or a book club) recently?
I’d love to hear about your experiences.