The Beauty and Luxury of Book Club

booksIn this article, Peer Counselor Andrea Karl, who co-facilitates our Book Club, shares what our Book Club means to her and the other women who participate. She’s discovered it’s a perfect excuse to indulge in a beloved pastime while enjoying conversation, companionship and escape.


I am a reader. Always have been, always will be. Since I was a child I have loved books. I would walk in the doors of a library and wrap myself in the warmth of the knowledge and adventure that lined the shelves. I’d make my way to the card catalog and the Dewey Decimal system, relishing in my ability to master it!

As a college student, you would find me nestled alone in the campus library’s quiet third floor, researching term papers until closing hours or the arrival of a friend to get me to the bars (it was the 70’s!) before they closed too.

As an adult, I discovered bookstores: used book stores, small town shops, Borders, Barnes and Noble. I can even lose track of time at the book table at BJ’s. It is always the lure of the book.

Unfortunately, as life happened, my escape into reading became limited. There were children to be raised, a home to run, a job to keep, bills to be paid and laundry to be folded. By the time my head hit the pillow at night, I was already asleep and another bookmark was lost in the blankets.

Book Club forces me to do what I love. It gives me permission to say “I have to finish this book.” It allows me to indulge in a luxury I love, and gives me a reason to do it.

Some might say “Well I don’t like the book that’s been chosen.” But Book Club member Eileen says “Book Club encourages me to read books I wouldn’t necessarily choose.” Book Club allows you to explore different venues and genres and characters with alternative points of view.

Book Club broadens our intellectual and empathetic horizons. It opens the doors for honest, open, meaningful conversation. As another member Lynn so graciously put it: “I love the camaraderie and spirited discussions.”

Book Club gives us the opportunity to escape into something else. Cancer can take a lot of things away from us, but it cannot take away our passions.

Reignite an old spark, take the time to escape from the everyday, and do something you loved. Read with us, discuss discovered new perspectives with us, and remember… we are all much more than our diagnosis.