Books and Brews

For the first bonus week of 2022, I wanted to write a little about something that you may have seen if you also follow us on Instagram: Books and Brews Tuesday. This is a new tradition that came about early in the year, and although it is a rather simple one, it was in a slow development for nearly 10 years.

Over the last 10 years, I have had a weekly “Book Club” meeting. This is definitely a “Book Club” in a nontraditional sense: while for a long time there was a core group with mostly have regular meetings, there has always been some variation in frequency, location, members, and reading material. The biggest departure from traditional Book Clubs is a big one: we don’t actually read books. This odd deviation is a hazard of working in education—it’s hard to talk about your plans after work when you do not want to broadcast to the children that you will be spending the evening in a bar. It might not always be called the same thing, but I know that everyone who has worked in education knows what I mean (at various schools I have heard about book clubs, library visits, and special Friday staff meetings).

I have always been the only regular reader at my “Book Club,” but over the years its existence has sparked conversation about actually book clubs. Being part of a book club is something that has always sounded appealing to me, although I know it’s not something that fits well with who I am as a reader. I am at least a little bit of a mood reader, and have always had a very extensive to read shelf. Adding in a rotation of additional books at regular intervals seems like a recipe for disaster in the pursuit of reducing my list to a manageable number. I have recently hit an all time high in books to read without any such excuses!

Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a real Book Club venture that actually works, and it connects back to my original fake book club! Back in the days of the original “Book Club” we almost always held our meetings in the same local brewery, where a few of us eventually got a mug club membership. That group drifted away from regularly meeting in the same location, and I am the only one that decided to continue renewing my membership in the mug club. After the tumultuous 2020/2021, I vowed to make sure I made the membership worth it this year, even if I had to go there on my own with a book every week. When I said this to a bookish friend, she said that was the perfect idea for a real Book Club—who says we have to be reading the same book?

Books and Brews Tuesday was born. We have set a weekly routine of meeting at the brewery after work, reading with a drink until our food arrives, and then chatting over dinner followed by a game of cards. It’s a nice quiet social routine that it was easy to fall into, and something that has quickly become important to us both.

Does anyone else have any fun or unusual reading habits or routines? I would love to hear about them!