Build friendships over time. Sounds simple. But as we age, the opportunities to make new friends diminishes and we may find that our circle of friends lives scattered about the globe. So, how do we find new people with whom to build friendships?
One of the best things I’ve done since moving to England is joining a book club.
I knew only one other person when I first joined. Over the past 10 years, I have gradually deepened these relationships. We originally started the club in recognition of the fact that since having two kids, we weren’t reading. I was so tired in those early years with a new baby and a toddler that I could only read one or two sentences before falling asleep. But with the kids a few years older, we started with one book every eight weeks. That was about all I could manage.
In 10 years, we’ve lost only one member who moved out of town. And we’ve read over 90 books. The great thing is that not only have I made new wonderful friends, but that I’ve read books I would never have chosen to read, which is a great way to broaden one’s perspective on life.
I’d highly encourage you to start your own book club in your local community or join one if you can. It is a great way to meet new people and build friendships over time.
How to do it:
There are lots of different ways to set up a book club, but we have a very simple system.
We have 9 members (all women) and don’t allow new members to join to keep the size manageable. Now that we have a huge shared literary history, it would be hard for new members to catch up.
We read one book every six to eight weeks. The person who chooses the book is the host, providing snacks and drinks at their home. The host also runs the discussion as well. We only do fiction, but one non-fiction book on happiness did slip in.