There’s a word I hate, and that word is “hobby”. It hurts coming out of my mouth and it hurts my ears and it calls to mind over-active pre-teens and middle-aged people looking for belated fulfillment through knitting needles and card games.
I hate to say it, but this person might be happier if they had a hobby.

I refuse to have hobbies. But I do write, and I do run, and I do compulsively watch Grey’s Anatomy and I also read – a lot. When I moved to London I was forced to evaluate how very solo my favoured pursuits (not hobbies) where. You write alone. If I run with people I feel compelled to push them onto the street if they’re faster than me. And reading is probably the loneliest activity of all. 

So two years ago I joined a Book Club and I’ve never missed a month since. And here’s why, if you’re looking fill a gap in your month, you should do the same. 

Making Friends

London can be hella lonely if you don't have enough friends.
London can be hella lonely if you don’t have enough friends.

Adults don’t make friends. We’re crabby, busy and lonely and we’re not prepared to do what it takes to get to know more people. The act of making a friend is so, so much more difficult than finding a fuck in this big city, but Book Club made it easy for me. Find one filled with like-minded ladies and watch the love blossom over a shared appreciation for print.

Another Excuse to Get Drunk 

Anyone who thinks Book Clubs are all about the books have never attended one largely populated by over-worked under-paid mid-twenties women. Book Club meetings are grown, watered and kept alive by the addition of pints of Peroni and very large glasses of red wine. Whether you hold your club in a pub or a front room, always make sure the booze flows. It’s how most of the best novels were written, after all. There’s no need to discuss what happened to the authors afterwards.

Sex Tips

Uh, this one might be restricted to my Book Club.

Great Book Recommendations 

How do you CHOOSE?
How do you CHOOSE?

This isn’t restricted to the books you’re assigned for the meetings – Book Club members are book lovers, and book lovers know their stuff. They’re more likely than just about any other source to make the effort to know what you like and recommend something, rather than the rest of the world, who will make you read Lena Dunham because you’re female, late-twenties and malcontent.  


Friends are one thing, contacts are another, but there’s no reason why one can’t also be the other. The fact of the matter is that people who like books probably also like writing and reading and all the derivatives thereof, so if you’re interested in working in the media, you’re likely to meet people who can help you. It’s all about who you know, y’all. 


People who decide they want to take up a hobby are saying two things – that they want to diversify their interests and that they want something to do to break up the monotony of work-home-sleep. Book Clubs are a fail-safe low impact way of doing just that – it’s something to look forward to, something to plan around, and something to put in your calendar.

Have you been to a book club?

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