I’ve mentioned before how sad I am that my feminist book club stopped meeting and actually there have been a couple of discussions of getting it going again, but in the meantime I need my book chat fix. That opportunity to sit in a coffee shop somewhere and discuss books is one I really relish and I quickly realised I couldn’t just wait for my old club to restart.
Fortunately, way back in January a talk thread was started on the Yelp Glasgow site – C wanted to start a book club and was wondering if anyone was interested. Um, yes please? Unfortunately I couldn’t make the January or February meetings. Being out of the loop I nearly missed the March meeting too – I saw the event listing just five days before the group was due to meet. Fortunately, they were reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, I book I read in August, so I decided to go along.
It was great! We met in Bennu, a coffee shop at the bottom of Gibson Street in Glasgow’s West End. Once upon a time Bennu used to be called Biblocafe and was run by Lou who was brilliant and just slightly odd. She filled the cafe with second hand books that you were welcome to leaf through while you sipped your coffee and that were for sale if they happened to grab you. It was amazing but like all good things do it eventually came to an end.
It reopened as Cafe Phoenix and continued to sell books and coffee for a bit but eventually the books had to go and in its current incarnation as Bennu the only books in the cafe are the ones customers bring in themselves. That sounds like a shame, but actually Bennu is a really nice space to sit in, it’s light and airy and while I’m sad I can’t buy a book there I’d be very comfortable reading one there. Plus, they make a mean latte, so it’s not all bad.
We sat around and discussed the book for a while and then randomly selected one of the book clubbers to choose next month’s read. In the end Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988) by Kurt Vonnegut. The only Vonnegut I’ve read before is Slaughterhouse-Five, which I loved just like everyone else who’s ever read it. My friend S is a massive Vonnegut fan and I was recently discussing Vonnegut with P, having not realised that a lot of his work had strong sci-fi themes. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading this one.
I’m also definitely allowed to break my, “buy no books until you’ve sorted out your to-read list” rule if it’s for a book club.
I’m glad to find a new book club and I really hope this one lasts a bit longer than the last one. Although even if the feminist book club does get going again, I think I’ll keep going to both. Because I am a big nerd.