Tag Archives: Meetup.com

Friends You Haven’t Met: Join a book club

4 Nov

There’s a lot of smartie pants in the DC area, so it’s fair to reason that there are a lot of book clubs. Finding the right book club, however, might take more than one try. My advice: don’t give up! It’s like a good therapist–it’s got to be the right fit or you’re not going to want to go and it’s not going to be a good experience.

I went to a book club a couple years ago that met at a restaurant. The members were not very friendly to me UNTIL I mentioned that I had driven from Virginia (the meeting was in Maryland). Turns out two people lived sort of near me and took the Metro to the meeting, so they asked if I could give them a ride. So after this terrible book club meeting I had to drive to two separate houses to drop off these two rude strangers. Obviously, I never went back. But with that said, there’s plenty of great book clubs and it’s a potentially great way to meet new friends. Here’s some places to look for groups:

  • Reader’s Circle is a national website. You just type in your zip code and it comes up with loads of DC area groups. I emailed one group awhile back and never heard back, but hopefully that’s not a common occurrence.
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Meetup.com, which has a separate section just for book clubs. I found a book club on here once and it was going pretty well but then I think the group disbanded. Either that or they  just stopped inviting me.
  • l’Alliance Française de Washington is a French cultural center and it has a European Book Club that discusses European literature in English. It costs $5 to attend but–get this–the next meeting is sold out! How does a book club sell out? It actually makes me want to go to a future meeting so that I can see what all the fuss is about. If I do go, I’ll report back.
  • Most book stores have book clubs. The iconic store Politics and Prose, for example, had loads of different book groups, but so do chains like Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading!

Friends you haven’t met: Meetup.com

12 Oct

I love, love, love Meetup.com. It’s a worldwide website, but I’d venture to say it’s especially popular in the DC area. Basically it’s a way to find groups of people who like doing the things you like to do. Say, for example, you’re a runner and you’re looking for other people to run with. Well then, you could join the I Run, You Run group, the DC Capital Striders Running group, the Rockville 20s & 30s Running/Hiking group, the Georgetown Running group, the Running with your Dog group, the Baby Boomer Runners Rule group, the Barefoot Runners of Northern Virginia and DC group … you get the idea. So yeah, pretty much if you can think of a group you’d like to join, you can find it. And in the off-chance you can’t, then you can start your own group for a small monthly fee (which you can recoup via membership dues if you want).

Joining a Meetup.com group is easy. You can search for a type of activity you’re interested in or just browse groups near where you live. Then you click “Join Us” – sometimes you have to write a little bit about yourself and then the organizer has to accept you. The organizers of your group will post upcoming meetings and you rsvp.

I personally recommend joining groups where there is an actual activity besides just meeting other people. I went to a 20s & 30s girls dinner one time, and it was a disaster. There were supposed to be like 20 people there and only THREE of us showed up. It was awkward and the other girls weren’t very nice. I’ve had much better luck with a kayaking group, a writing group and a book club group. If you are doing an activity, than even if you don’t connect with people in the group, you’ve still spent time doing something you enjoy. But that’s not to say that you won’t meet great people through Meetup.com, I certainly have–that one dinner excluded. And if your first Meetup.com event is a dud, don’t let that discourage you. There’s so many people on Meetup and so many groups, that if you try a few more I’m sure you’ll be glad you gave it another shot.