Reading the book ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ written by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows made me reflect on the way that I came to be part of TIC and what it means to me to be part of a bookclub.
The characters in the book ‘accidentally’ formed their literary (or bookclub) society during the WWII German occupation whilst living on the island of Guernsey. From this literary society, friendships formed, connections made and lives changed while they supported each other through an obviously difficult time during the war.
I had been a part of a bookclub in Australia, which I loved, so when I arrived in the Netherlands at the end of 2015 I googled ‘English speaking bookclub’ and the TIC website came up, which gave me valuable information, not only for the bookclub, but for other events and ways to meet other expats.
There’s something special about getting together with a group of people, who, you may or may not see outside of bookclub, and connecting over a book. You’ve all got a common goal – reading and then discussing the same book. Sometime in the last month, you have all read the same words on paper, maybe interpreting them in different ways or not. And at some stage you realise you have come to know the people you meet once a month or so, as nearly everyone puts their personal view, experience and personality forward when discussing a book.
Whether you search for a book club or accidentally become part of one, just like in the book, being able to connect with people over a book you either love or hate can cross all social, religious, racial and gender barriers and can help you form friendships in a foreign world.
#Expatbookclub #Tilburg #reading #Guernsey