Book People Are My Favorite People

When you move as frequently as we do, finding your tribe in each new location isn't always easy. And making friends as a childless adult often means putting yourself out there in a way that isn't  And that's exactly the type of behavior that led to the creation of my first book club. 

For starters, it's important to know that I have tried to start a book club in the last THREE places I've lived. We're talking Craigslist ads, randomly asking semi-strangers if they like to read, and not-so-casually reading in public places to see if anyone wants to randomly strike up a conversation about our mutual love of books. Even when I've lived in places where I actually knew a fair amount of other people, a book club was something occasionally talked about, but never materialized. 

When we moved to Buckhannon in September, it finally seemed like I could make this happen: small college town, dozens of Little Free Libraries, and not a crazy amount of social opportunities already available. I began frequenting this cute little coffee shop/music store up the street from my house for the sole purpose of making the owner my friend (although, it's worth saying that the coffee is also fantastic). Heather was always super friendly and seemed to know a lot of people around town, so finally I just went for it. I asked her if she liked to read. 

Within a few days, Heather had drummed up some interest on Facebook and we had a meeting at her coffee shop to discuss how to proceed. We picked our first book and then officially met a month later for John Irving, tacos, and margaritas. 

(apologies for the teensy Instagram picture) 

(apologies for the teensy Instagram picture) 

We've now been meeting for the past six months and it is routinely the best part of my month. There's always way too much food and, as we've gotten to know each other better, the amount of time we spend actually discussing the book seems to get shorter and shorter, but it's still the best.  Once, there was fondue. Occasionally, (always) there's moonshine. 

Medieval Meat/Cheese Feast for  The Relic Master  

Medieval Meat/Cheese Feast for The Relic Master 

(My first pick: Jhumpa Lahiri's  The Lowland  + cheese and chocolate fondue)  

(My first pick: Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland + cheese and chocolate fondue) 

All the dips and  What She Left Behind  

All the dips and What She Left Behind 

The Nightingale,  when we decided we really only wanted to eat cheese 

The Nightingale, when we decided we really only wanted to eat cheese 

As we've continued, the core four who were there on that first meeting has nearly doubled in membership. We don't all have the same reading tastes. Some of us kindle, some of us audible. Our age range spans a few decades. We arrived in Buckhannon from all over the country. But we're all book people (also: cheese people). And book people are my favorite people. 

Where I Never Thought I'd Be

Three weeks ago, if you'd told me I'd be living in a tiny, old house in Buckhannon, West Virginia...I would have thought you were crazy. 

But here we are. 

Within the span of just over a week, my husband was approached about a job, accepted that job, and started work. Despite it all happening so quickly, I have a feeling that I haven't had in years - that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Buckhannon is like no other place I have ever lived.

  • I can walk to two different coffee shops, a library, a micro-theater, a couple of bakeries, and an antique store.
  • Nearly every single person I have interacted with has called me hon, and it doesn't even feel patronizing.
  • When I scheduled a four hour block appointment with the cable company, they not only actually showed up during that four hour block, they showed up at the beginning of the block.
  • Our landlords found out we stayed in a hotel our first night here because we didn't have air conditioning yet...and they were so upset we didn't call them to stay with them instead.

So far, everything is charming and everyone is kind. While there may not be a lot of digital marketing opportunities, (Exhibit A: when we were looking for a place to live, the large majority of the apartment complexes didn't have websites...) and we're less than a week into this new adventure, I feel remarkably comfortable here. I feel safe. I feel at ease.

And perhaps most importantly? I feel like I can do some really good writing here.