Over a year ago, a few friends and I decided to read Jane Austen together. I’m an Austen Addict and I shameless spread my love for her and judgement for those who hate her all around. So when Andie suggested it, I jumped onto the wagon and did a dance. The only problem was that I lived in Virginia at the time and everyone else who would be joining said book club lived elsewhere. Primarily Chicago. However, Meredith lived in the DR and Em was in Minnesota and Augusta was in…Iowa? Colorado? I don’t actually know… We decided to make it work anyway (shout out to Google Chat!).
We read (or skipped) all seven of Austen’s books and shared life every few months or so. Emily moved to China. Augusta sort of faded out. Meredith moved to New York. I moved to Ohio. And our core, Andie, Ashley, and Luci, stayed in Chicago. I laughed with them as Mer struggled to connect and tried to speak, despite microphone issues. I debated the virtues of Mrs. Bennet and Emma. I struggled through some of the monotonous moments in the books and grew frustrated with scheduling conflicts. Imagine scheduling book club meetings over three-four different time zones. It was hellish. It still is at times.
We finished our last book, Persuasion, just in time for the new year. 2015 held so many promises for all of us. I really wanted to reach into the realm of non-fiction because I don’t read much of it. I didn’t want the club to end either. Andie agreed and asked me if we could read non-fiction this year (I swear, it was like she read my mind). So we started putting together a book list. I announced to all via email that we would have a regular meeting time. Because it was only going to get more difficult to meet as time passed. And we decided to invite a few new members, because really, the more the merrier.
Last week, February 17, 2015, we were all together for the first time as a book club. And for the first time in two years. It was a beautiful thing. We are a sisterhood and I’m so wonderfully happy to be living life and reading books with these remarkable women. This book club/sorority (as we call ourselves the Jane Austen Kappa Kappa Book Club now) has been a labor of love for all of us. We struggle to read the book assigned and clear our schedules for one night a month. But we love each other, and it makes my heart warm whenever I think of them.
So here’s to one more year, JAKK Club! Because I can’t imagine my life without you…