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The Buddies Book Club

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The Buddies Book Club |

Our book club comprises of 8 friends (7 General Nurses who worked together on a critical care unit and 1 Mental Health Nurse). We all live in close proximity to each other in the North East of England. Before the idea of a book club was conceived we used to chat about the books we were reading and would sometimes recommend or swap books with each other. After a gradual drift away from our workplace we decided that a book club would be a way of bringing good friends together on a regular basis so we embarked on our journey of literary discovery in 2013.

We decided that we would host the book club in our homes on a rotational basis and that we would meet flexibly, approximately every 6 weeks, though this can be extended to 8 weeks during holiday periods.

We are sometimes inspired to dish up themed food which definitely adds to our fun and enjoyment of the evening. The original idea was for the host to provide snacks and wine. However, this has since evolved into a full culinary experience!

Initially, we brought 3 book title suggestions to the group. These could be books that we had read and enjoyed, or books that were on our personal reading pile. Only the book with the highest number of votes would be put forward for group reading. We carried on with this system for the first 2 years and then decided to try our local library’s reading list. We would then collect 8 copies of that book as and when the library could facilitate this and we continued until we had read all the books of interest to us. As the library list was not reviewed for quite some time we reverted to our original method of nominating our own book suggestions.

When considering the three words that describe what our book club means to us, we collectively decided upon social, stimulating and sozzled! The evening always begins with hugs and a general chat/ catch up (pre-Covid-19). Drinks are served on arrival. We either discuss the book next, or supper is served. Discussion is always lively, noisy and laughter-filled. Everyone contributes to this but we are usually better talkers than listeners, sometimes having to call order. We discuss the characters, plot and consider the broader issues such as feminism, historic aspects and modernism. We then give the book a score and keep a record.

We have our own page on Facebook and like to use this as well as WhatsApp, especially since the onset of the pandemic.

One highlight was winning some reader’s notes and six bottles of Prosecco in an author’s competition on Facebook. It was exciting to win this lovely prize. In March 2021 we were runners up in Prima Magazine's competition to find Britain's best book club.

The secret of our success and sustainability is the fact we are great friends who revel in each other’s company and have similar expectations. We can often be surprised by our different opinions and perceptions, keeping things fresh and interesting. Book club has helped to bond our friendships, broaden our reading and create happy memories. We love our Book Club!

© Angela Craddock 2021-07-30


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