There are a lot of things I like about my job. I’m lucky enough to spend a significant chunk of time discovering, thinking about, and selecting new books and movies. I have access to a high-powered “laser.” I get to write this goofy blog. All those things are great, but without a doubt, my favorite part of my job is running book clubs. That’s partially because for three hours per month, I actually get paid to sit around and talk about books, which is kind of the great librarian dream. Mostly, however, I love my book clubs for the people who attend them. We have a smashing good time breaking down why we loved a book (or why we hated it, which tends to be a lot more fun), relating plot points and themes to our lives in meaningful ways, swapping insights, and, most importantly, being silly. Each group is made up of wonderful people, each of whom I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate. Last week, it saddened me to learn that one of those wonderful people is moving away, and our meeting earlier this week was her last with us.
I’ve had book clubbers leave before, but they’ve almost always been irregulars (I mean “irregular” mostly in terms of attendance…mostly). I’ve never lost a true core member before, and I wasn’t really prepared for it. As kids do with their childhood friends, I just kinda assumed our little groups would stay together forever. Of course, life has a way of moving us around, of spreading us apart, of turning the page. We carry on, meeting new people and enjoying new experiences, but we maintain a special soft spot in our hearts for the good times and memories of old. I can be especially soft when it comes to parting, so I can think of nothing better to do in such situations than to fire up one of the sentimental goodbye songs of my generation (like this one, or this one), run a montage of treasured moments in my head, and embrace all the feels.
Goodbye, Jennie. You were a magnificent book club member, and you will be missed. You’re going to make some book club in your new town very happy.
While Jennie can’t be replaced, we’re always looking for new members for our book club families. Full information about them can be found here. No audition required.