Where Me Time Meets We Time
by Malena Lott
by Malena Lott
Sitting in Mazzio's pizza in Woodward, Oklahoma just days before our high school graduation in 1990, my girlfriends announced that it was my job to keep the "Fab 5" together after we went out into the big, beautiful world.
Fast forward four years and my sorority sisters at Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Oklahoma said the same thing.
It seems without any proclamation on my part, I had been ruled the Girlfriend Wrangler, the Social Diva, the Overzealous Organizer who can't help but get girlfriends together, even when our busy lives feel as though time is the last thing on our plates.
Typically there is one in every pack - the one to bring the lost sheep back in and ply them with food and drinks for gossip and good times. Now I'm going one step further and holding the martini carrot in front of them with a book behind my back.
Girls' Night Out is more popular than ever. Reading, I'm afraid, is not. Book sales are weaker than they should be, not only due to the economy but because not enough people are reading in the first place. Reading for pleasure is down and household spending on books is also down and has continued to decline over the last twenty years. According to the National Endowment for the Arts study "To Read or Not To Read" in 2007, "Literary readers are more likely than non-readers to engage in positive civic and individual activities – such as volunteering, attending sports or cultural events, and exercising."
Another cool statistic? Reading reduces stress! And stress is way, way the hell up! Studies show stress levels diminish within ten minutes of pleasure reading. Who doesn't have ten minutes to slip into a great read to save your mental health?
Like my 9 year old daughter says, "reading is fun when the book is interesting."
Now I feel like the whispers of a million women have been telling me to "keep us together" and promote books and reading in a modern book community format. As an author and avid reader and entertainer, it's my passion. And I hope it can be yours, too.
I'm recruiting all those "Girlfriend Wranglers" who are reading this blog to consider gathering your friends and help them reduce stress by hanging out together and discussing books. If you already have a book club, great. Let's join forces. If you've never had a book club because you don't like "being told what to read," then you'll love our Anything Goes policy. Members can choose what they'd like to read and then discuss it at your book party. Did I say party? Yep. With great food, drinks and fun, we're turning the book club format on its head, involving authors, sharing recipes and rewarding ourselves with cool prizes.
My goal is to have chapters across the U.S. and with new chapters joining every day, I'll keep you posted on our reading revolution. So, join me, won't you?
To learn more about Book End Babes, go to www.BookEndBabes.com.
I'd like to thank Malena for her guest post and I'm sure you agree that Book End Babes is a fantastic idea. Plus, it's a great resource for book clubs as well as readers. I'd like to give you a little bit more information about Book End Babes:
Mission: We want nothing short of starting a READING REVOLUTION, to make books the ultimate “it” accessory and to make reading fashionable.
Motto: Real babes read books. Books rock, girlfriends rule.
Here are a few things that the site has to offer:
* 4 top picks for great reads for each month with a suggested menu of great food and drink tie-ins
* Books Rock, Girlfriends Rule blog on the home page with guest posts from queen B’s, chapter members and authors
* Reviews on the home page (and archived reviews from our former site AthenasBookshelf.com)
* Theater room with videos of author readings, book trailers and footage from BEbabes parties (also searchable)
* TwitterBEbabes Directory so members can follow each other and build friendships
There is also SWAG!!! (And who doesn't love book-related swag?)
Ah, yes. The free stuff. Membership has its privileges, mainly in free swag from Book End Babes and publicists and publishers. You’ll have a chance to win a weekly Impulse Prize (something girlie) and get entries in bigger contests including free books (mostly advanced reading copies.) To kick things off, any queen B who signs up in September is registered to win a cute heart book bag with a free book. (4 total winners)
You can read more about the benefits and how to join here. I absolutely love this idea and I have already signed up my book club -- we're Chapter 5!