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More Than A Book Club

Christine shares the beauty born from a simple proposal after the Summer Vacation

After gathering at the Southeast CL Summer Vacation, a group of friends both new and old decided to read Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy. This began because one of our friends loves this book. He told us that he would regularly invite people to read it and they never said yes. So we did! Thus, began our Lost in the Cosmos reading group via Zoom.

That book was a starting point. What began as a book club quickly grew to include sharing not only observations about the book, but our questions, our experiences, and, ultimately, sharing our lives. Before we finished Lost in the Cosmos, we already had another book suggestion, and so our weekly Zoom meetings continued. The questions that arose from Lost in the Cosmos continue to fill our conversations and we regularly revisit them as we read other books.

This friendship that began as a hint during our vacation, and that continued in our book club, has blossomed. In addition to reading and discussing books, we share life, movie recommendations, and have even prayed the rosary together.

Reading is something with which I have always had an interesting relationship. I used to enjoy knowing about a book more than the actual experience of reading it. I would be more interested in reading a character analysis or a theme summary than in actually reading a book for myself. This group has changed that for me. These friends have greatly enriched my own reading and understanding of each book. Now, I am eager to pay attention to things that stand out to me or to notice different characters’ reactions or responses. I think it is the eagerness to share what I saw with my friends and to see if they saw the same thing that has changed this for me.

All of the books we read are books that I have heard about and even been intrigued by for years. In fact, the first two books we read together I already owned but had never opened! My friends helped me to seriously consider my desire to dive into these books instead of simply saying that I didn’t have time.

We are now nearing the end of our fourth book. For six months, I have spent nearly every Wednesday in a Zoom meeting for up to two hours. Why? I have plenty of friends who live in Pensacola who I could spend time with, but I choose to attend this book club. Why have I continued to do this every week? Because, more than simply reading and arguing about characters’ motives or dispositions, this book club really is a companionship that helps me to look past the surface; first in these books and movies, and then in my own life as well. This companionship has taught me to pay attention to things that happen that are interesting or difficult and to see what more could be awaiting me in them. These friends help me to ask questions and not to take things for granted. This book club continues not out of a desire to be someone who is well-read and knowledgeable, but out of a desire to stay with these friends through whom Christ chooses to come close to me.

Christine, Pensacola, FL


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