Positive Real-Life Bookish Experiences: Armchair BEA

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The amazing organizers over at Armchair BEA are asking us to share positive real-life bookish experiences today.

Where to start? Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve taken a much more active interest in my local independent bookstore (Malaprops in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC) and all the author events they have going on. We get some very well-known authors for a town our size! Some of my favorites have been Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson, Charles Vess, and John Connolly (whom I was apparently too lazy to write about).

Through other book bloggers, I learned about the Decatur Book Festival and attended the past two years.  It is such a great opportunity to meet authors and other bibliophiles!  I highly recommend going if you can.

But I’ll write about something a little different.

I’ve been on GoodReads a couple of years longer than I’ve been blogging. I “met” Sonya on there and befriended her, and was thrilled to find out that she was from a little town just over the mountain from my own. We shared book recommendations and tips about what was going on within our own local literary community.

In January of this year, we decided it was finally time to meet face-to-face. I was a little nervous, and I think she was too. What if this other person was a serial killer or something? But we were meeting at a place we both love (You have to love a place called The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Books and champagne. Throw in some chocolate and you have my idea of heaven. The best chocolate you will ever taste is just a street over.) It was like meeting an old friend. We talked and laughed over a bottle of wine like we had known each other for years. That kind of connection is very rare for me because I’m so reserved, but, come to think about it, that is how all my friendships start.

We decided to form a book club and grabbed some other literary friends to join us. It is so great to go out once and month and eat a good meal and laugh and talk books with a group of fellow readers. I still don’t talk much because it takes me much longer to get comfortable in a group, but I enjoy listening to everyone else.  So far we’ve read Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  For TKAM, we met for Sunday lunch and then went to see the play at our local community theater.  It was great to do something a little different!

What kind of positive real-life bookish experience have you had?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. Oh! I might be going to the Decatur Book Festival this year. Maybe I'll see you there.

  2. It's great to hear about people's 'real life' experiences! I'd love to join a book club. 🙂 Great post!

    New to your blog!
    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page

  3. Fabulous story! And how wonderful that you have that time for you every month 🙂

    Maria @novalibrarymom.com

  4. Love bookclubs! I stumbled into the one I'm a part of. My friend found out I like to read (her: "you have a BOOK BLOG? Pubs send them to you and you get to read them…for free????") and invited me to hers and I haven't looked back LOL.

  5. Book clubs are definitely a great way to get connected. It's so much fun to actually get together with a group of people and talk books. Sounds like a lot of fun. Great story!!

  6. Great story! It's so easy to talk to bookish people because you always have something to talk about. 😉

    I'm jealous you got to meet Sarah Addison Allen. Fun!

  7. Starting a book club four years ago has been a memorable experience for me. I deepened friendships across several generations, made some new friends, read some fabulous books I may not have chosen on my own and found it very appealing to hear other, different opinions than the ones I had formed. Barbara

  8. Now that is a great story, and so happy you both found each other and friendship!

  9. That is a wonderful story! I love tying in the book group discussion with seeing the play together.

  10. That's awesome! I love Asheville- it's such a pretty place. And you're right, you've gotta love the name of the book exchange.

    If you have the time, I’d love to hear from you at my armchair BEA post.

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