The true tale of our non-traditional book club, Bookworms Anonymous is a laudatory examination of reading as a hobby, diversion, obsession, even sport. The books feature a bookworm's eye view of eight club meetings, loads of book reviews and suggestions, recipes and, in Volume I, instructions on establishing your own chapter of Bookworms Anonymous. Each chapter incorporates brief accounts of daily life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Part memoir, part cookbook, and part informational guide, each book includes reading lists, menus and recipes as well as lively book-centric conversations.
Is reality merely the span of time you tolerate between books?
Is a day without reading considered lost time?
Is the smell of a new book enough to make you hold your calls, cancel appointments and sequester yourself for a reading break?
Do you regard reading as necessary to your mental and emotional well-being?
Do you plan your activities and obligations around your (required) reading time?
You are among friends here.
Turn the page and begin.
What inspired you to write Bookworms Anonymous?
I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember—probably since I saw the first book and realized what it contained inside. For years, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t conceive of one viable book idea.
Our reading group was formed in November 2000. Around 2007 or 2008, I started taking notes about the meetings as my way of capturing the witty comments and hilarious conversations we had at the meetings. Whenever I ran into friends who weren’t part of BA, they asked me what the group was reading, what I was reading, and what was the best book I’d recently read. They also asked about the menu selections. As I told and retold some of the funnier stories about our meetings, I realized there are probably a lot of people out there who love to read, who would enjoy reading about our particular group.
We live in a very unique corner of America, too—Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—and I incorporated quite a few anecdotes from our culture up here. Living here presents economic challenges, and we’re so geographically isolated it’s virtually impossible to commute to a town with any sizable population. Most of us Yoopers (those who live in the UP) hold down more than one full-time job just to make ends meet. I always enjoy learning about obscure cultures, and I wanted to share my own obscure culture in this book.
They loved it the first time they read it! We are a group of seven women, with ages spanning 35 years, so we naturally have differing interests and opinions, but we all love reading. Each Bookworm was pleasantly surprised to learn I’d been surreptitiously recording their comments and logging the books we were reading, and the positive reviews and support I received from each Bookworm as well as their spouses, friends and relatives was overwhelming. Many people who know the Bookworms said I captured each of their personalities within my pages, and that was my main goal. Hearing this was inspiring and reassuring.
It took one hockey season to write the first draft. I outlined each chapter from the notes I’d taken during meetings, and writing the chapters came easier than I’d dreamed. My husband helped by pouring wine and being quiet while I escaped into my own world every night the Red Wings played. After I had the first draft down, I approached my sister Jen and fellow Bookworm Angie (also my high school English teacher) to read through it and give me some feedback, and they both loved it. We edited it a bit, then passed it around to the remaining Worms so each one had a chance to suggest changes.