The wonderful thing about life is that there are times we accidentally meet people, connect with them almost immediately and from there on such a friendships help enrich our lives.
It was one such meeting with Layla, an ardent book lover that led to the setting up of our Book Club, known as the Read & Seed BC. The name is the same one under which Layla operates a cosy second-hand book shop in Colombo, which is where we met when I went there with a friend to check out the place I had seen motioned in a newspaper book review section.
She happened to be around the time we visited so we got talking and the Book Club idea come up. Within the next few days there was a flurry of e-mails flying to and fro and within less than a month we had decided to start the Read & Seed BC.
Our first meeting was on December 4, 2011 where we discussed the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It was a book that has been an instant hit with almost everyone who’s read it and gave us plenty of issues for discussions.
Since then we’ve discussed The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid and Waiting by Ha Jin. Last Sunday we met to discuss the Girl with The Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. We ‘ve chosen books from writers across the globe so that a lot of discussion also centers around what we have in common with people in other geographical areas but also learn about their customs and traditions, habits, superstitions etc.
The opportunity to exchange ideas has been an enlightening experience for all of us because of the different perspectives each of the members have on the book we choose to discuss.
An added bonus has been the post discussion snacks and tea time, thanks mainly to the culinary expertise of our host Layla. It’s an understatement to call it snack time because the spread always doubles as dinner. Although it wasn’t planned this way, the snacks are themed on the country where the story comes from so we’ve also had the chance to learn about the culinary delights in these countries. It’s also encouraged someone like me, for whom cooking is a least favorite subject, to look of recipes from different countries and try to replicate them. I ve only managed Dutch cucumber sandwiches so far but it’s a start.
A Book Club is not only a great place to meet fellow book lovers and discuss books but it is also a great place to exchange our views on life and its travails and enjoy each other’s company. So if you are a book lover and know like-minded people, it’s good to float the idea of starting a club and see where it leads. Happy Reading everyone.