All great businesses address a real need. The Girly Book Club is no different. I started the book club in 2008 in London, England because I’d moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone (except my boyfriend at the time) and struggled to make meaningful connections and/or any real friends. It was almost an entire year before I found myself in front of my computer googling “book clubs”. I didn’t know the adventure I was about to embark on but I knew one thing; I was miserable and lonely.
But I was/am also a problem solver – and when I couldn’t find any books clubs that addressed my desire to meet other interesting women I set about making my own. The Girly Book Club was born. Our first meeting was a huge success – we had over 20 women in attendance and boy was I nervous. I’d taken a public speaking class at University – but nothing quite prepared me to stand up in front of a room full of international women and share my truth. The great thing about the book club – is I didn’t have to fully bare my soul – It was as easy as saying I loved to read and wanted to share that passion with others. It continues to be that easy today – for any member that makes the decision to walk into a room full of strangers and start changing her life.
Since 2008 the book club has changed every aspect of my life. In 2016 I quit my corporate job in New York City in the Travel Industry to pursue the Book Club full time. It has been my every day since then and I get to live and breathe books as a result. Heaven. It’s been a hard road, as most startups are – and this current chapter is going to take us to our knees, but we’ll still be here when it’s over – of that I’m sure. The hosts and members I’ve had the privilege of meeting over the years – and the notes and emails I’ve received from people who have experienced the same kind of magic the book club gave me in those early years make it all worthwhile.
In the end, I lived in London, England for a further 6 years – thanks to the incredible women I met through the book club. I then moved to New York City for two years where it again helped me build bridges with a diverse friend group. When I moved back to Toronto, I started a new chapter in my suburb and I find myself once again surrounded by strong, independent and creative women who make life in a strange city so much better!
Thank you for reading my story – and for being part of the journey. When it’s safe we’ll be back up and running and I hope if you haven’t already you’ll take that first step of joining one of our in-person meetings. If I have learned anything at all it’s that the world is full of brilliant, warm, passionate women, many of whom happen to love to read – you just need to surround yourself with them for the magic to happen.
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