I don’t think I’ve mentioned it much here before but I love reading. I always have. That feeling you get from finding a great book is just magical.
I especially love sharing my excitement with others, comparing notes and delving into the intricacies of a book, uncovering what about it makes it resonate with me so deeply.
However, despite this I’ve never joined a book club, I just never seemed to have the time. Now of course, my chronic illness makes regularly committing to a physical meetup impossible but even before that I had a baby, a full-on job and studies to contend with too.
I still managed to make room in my life for great books though, as reading was so important to me. Although it’s something which has been much harder since I became ill. With the weight of everything I initially went through post-diagnosis, my world closed in around me and I felt adrift. I just seemed to lose my connection with reading as a result.
If you’ve been following my progress on the blog, you know that I’ve come a long way from those early days with MS. I’m in a much better place. I may still face many difficulties but I can also recognise and celebrate my successes. I’ve reached out and made friends who inspire me and make me feel less alone. The world seems just a little bit brighter again.
Reigniting my passion for reading again
The start of the New Year seemed to bring with it lots of people planning and sharing their reading goals for the year but I had none and I asked myself why. I made the decision to challenge myself to read more great books in 2018 to see if I could love reading again to the same extent as I had before. Happily, I’m only a couple of books into the year and already my passion has been reignited!
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a setback with my MS which has been really limiting physically and I’ve been stuck in bed a lot trying not to think about the horrendous symptoms I’ve been experiencing. I needed a distraction and reading seemed like a great place to start.
Searching for some good book recommendations online I came across Reese Witherspoon’s book club with her fantastic suggested reads and I felt inspired. Why had it never occurred to me that an online book club would be a great place to commit to enjoying some good reads whilst connecting with others and enthusing about our shared passion?
Most importantly, who cared if I was having a bad day and couldn’t make it through the door? I could still be sociable and enjoy being part of a book club whilst lounging around in my pjs. Bliss!
I thought, there’s no way I’m the only person crying out for this, especially within the lovely chronically ill community, so why not set up an online book club of my own to create a space for lots of friendly book chat?!
So this is how my idea for The Surviving Life Book Club first originated. Planning this club has gone a long way to help me get through the last couple of weeks of feeling like I was relapsing (although, thankfully, it turned out that I wasn’t!) and I hope you love the idea of it as much as I do.
The Surviving Life Book Club
Who is it for?
Anyone who loves reading but who finds it difficult to attend book clubs in person (be that due to health, time or whatever)!
My primary goal is to create a social space for others who, due to chronic illness, would find it hard to manage a physical meetup. The Surviving Life Book Club aims to provide an enjoyable and workable opportunity to join a thoughtful discussion about some great books for those who would benefit from it the most.
However, there are also loads of other reasons why physically joining a book club might not be the easiest option for people due to family commitments, responsibilities and lack of availability etc. So if you think the club would be a good fit for you, helping you to fill your own personal needs, then I’d really love for you to join too!
How will it work?
I’ve set up a private Facebook group for the club where we can discuss a monthly read. I’ll announce a new book club book by the start of every month, then introduce some points for discussion on the last Wednesday of the month. There will be plenty of book chat and opportunities to share your favourite books and recommendations throughout the month too,
What do I need to do to join?
Just join The Surviving Life Book Club Facebook group and come and say hi!
You can then have fun getting started on our ‘book of the month’ in preparation for our discussion at the end of the month and enjoy getting involved in our different threads.
Spreading the word
I’d love it if you could help me spread the word, especially as the book club is just starting off. Sharing this blog post or the group details with anyone you think would love the book club would really help to get it off to a great start.
Also, if you’d like to connect on Twitter or Instagram and share a book recommendation or a photo of you enjoying our book of the month then please do! Please use #SLBookClub and remember you can also tag me on Twitter @SLHurdles.
I’m always open to suggestions and great book recommendations so I’d love it if you got in touch.
Happy reading everyone!
P.S. if you’d like to stay up-to-date with my blog and The Surviving Life Book club please sign up for my newsletter (located in the sidebar).