Armchair BEA: Networking … In Real Life?!

06 Jun

So, I’m pretty horrible at networking. I think it comes from being an introvert, as I usually tend to cringe at walking into large events full of people by myself (and I usually can’t get anyone to go with me). When I attend author events and book signings I’m usually near the back by myself, fumbling around with my phone in an attempt to look like I’m busy instead of it being obvious how incredibly awkward I feel.

As a result it made my first year of blogging rather lonely as I’ve hung out on the fringes. HOWEVER! I have promised to get better about this and I’m really truly working on it. I’ve been reaching out to fellow bloggers and getting more active on memes and Twitter. If anyone has any tips for me on this I’m definitely open to them!

So, my most recent step towards becoming more active in the book community, this past week I joined a local book club :-). The Not-So YA book club is hosted by The Little Shop of Stories and it’s for those of us over the age of 21 who still enjoy reading YA books. I’ll admit I was super nervous to walk into the bookstore and walk up to the counter to ask “Is there, where, um, the book club meets?”, I found myself wandering around looking at books for about five minutes before getting up the courage to do just that. But both women hanging out at the front were super nice and excited to meet a new member and welcomed me immediately!

My first meeting was fantastic and I was able to meet six awesome people who enjoyed Graceling (and Po, of course!) as much as I did! We sat around a local restaurant for about four hours discussing the book, then wandering pretty far off topic for a while, and then trying to rein in back in to finish up the discussion questions. Apparently book club is not just talking about books, it’s for all kinds of interesting discussions!

I’m certainly looking forward to the next meeting (we’re reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo!!) and there was even talk about getting a writing group together. (Oh! If you’re a local Atlanta blogger/bookish person check out and join the group on Facebook, we’d love to have you!)

I’m definitely looking for more ways to get involved in the blogging community both locally and online, so if anyone has any ideas or things they need help with,  let me know! I’m hoping that reading some other posts from today will give me some good ideas on things I can do to improve my “voice” in the community.

I can’t begin to say how grateful I am to be a part of a community full of amazing and awesome people. 🙂 Ya’ll rock!


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25 responses to “Armchair BEA: Networking … In Real Life?!

  1. stilettostorytime

    6 June, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Can I just scream whoooppiee! I just moved to the Atlanta area (Smyrna) last year and have frequently wished I could meet some fellow bloggers or even just book lovers in general. I am a former librarian turned SAHM and I sorely miss discussing books on a regular basis. When I read your post I got so excited…it seems we have a lot in common and live in the same area. I am going to check out the book club on Facebook too. That sounds like something I would enjoy! I tend to be an introvert too so I understand where you are coming from but it’s something I am working on. We’ll have to chat. Until then you can check me out at Stiletto Storytime while I get to know you better through your blog. It’s so nice to “meet” you!

    Stiletto Storytime

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      That’s so awesome! I’m glad that you stumbled upon my blog and it’d be great if you could join us at book club 🙂

      Looking forward to getting to know you and hopefully meeting in person for book club of blogger meet up soon!

  2. Kelly

    6 June, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Lol I was just about to recommend you join a book club when I read that you just did 🙂 I’ve just been invited into my first book club and I’m super excited 🙂 Besides that, I think any sort of event that has a small number of people at it would be a good idea. I’m also pretty introverted, but if I’m at an event (not just for books, but for other things too) that has just a handful of people, it is so much easier to talk and get to know people, because there is a limited amount of people there. That’s just my experience 🙂

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Your experience seems to be about right on! I’m the same way in that I do better in smaller groups with limited number of people. I’m more apt to get involved in the discussion and makes friends 🙂

      Thanks so much for your suggestions! It’s always great to get advice from people who understand what it’s like to be introverted.

  3. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    6 June, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Stopping by to say hello! I love the little book club I belong to, I’ve begun a few friendships and each monthly meeting is so fun! And you’re right, we also always veer off topic LOL

  4. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    6 June, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Ohhh! The book club is so cool. 😀 I love that!! I wish I had a book club to join… well i do have one, but it’s online too! I need to move to the US. 😉 LOL

    My bookish real life story!

  5. Suey (@SueySays)

    6 June, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Sounds like you’ve made an awesome start! Way to go! I know all about that awkwardness, but as soon as you start talking to bookish people, it all fades away. I love it. Good luck in your continuing quest!

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement! It’s good to know others understand it 🙂

  6. Kristilyn

    6 June, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The funny thing for me is that I’m a musician, so I think others think that I’m an extrovert, but even if I like to play live, I’m still very shy when I’m not performing. I also feel very shy when I walk into an event and I have no idea how to act! I’d love to meet more people IRL who love what I love.

    That’s pretty awesome that you found an adult YA book club! I’m part of a local book club but they read a lot of adult literature. I don’t have anything against it, but I wish they’d try something else. I should try and start one myself, but how do you do that when you don’t know a lot of bookish people?

    Anyway, happy to meet you! If you want to chat more, let me know. 🙂

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      I love how its assumed that people in certain jobs can’t be introverted, that’s not how it works! I worked in retail for 10 years, smiling and talking to people all day and I’m one of the most introverted people I know.

      Yeah, I looked for a long time for s book club that focused on YA, I was about to give up and just join a local area adult book club when this none appeared out of nowhere! If you’re looking to try to start one yourself MeetUp is a great way to get it going.

      Looking forward to getting to know you better! I love this part of Armchair BEA best 🙂

  7. Sandra

    6 June, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Yay for our book club! It really is the highlight of my month now. I’m so glad you joined us!

  8. Julie@my5monkeys

    6 June, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I do think that we are all shy but when it comes to talking about books I can talk about that forever. This is an amazing community.

  9. Sarah S (@SarahReads2Much)

    6 June, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I think many of us started blogging because we are really quite introverted. It is hard to get out there and network, you know? That is awesome that you found a book club that shares your interests! I have a feeling that the more you become involved with your book club, and the book store where you met up – other opportunities will present themselves. Good Luck!

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement! I think you make a great point that the book club/store will present me with more opportunities if I keep my eye opened for them! *fingers crossed*

  10. Lauren@The Housework Can Wait

    6 June, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Introverts Unite! I don’t think the extroverts understand just how terrifying people are. I just want to stay here in my living room and not talk to people ever, except through my computer. Is that too much to ask?

    Also, and I know this sounds weird following my “I’m scared of humans” thing, but I am so jealous of your book club. I keep thinking that the only thing missing from my life is a book club full of people who like the same kinds of books as me (that, and a million dollars). But I don’t think any of those people live near me. Or they do, but they’re 15 years younger than me, and I don’t really want to be the Room Mother for my book club.

    Hurray for you for branching out and finding other like-minded booklovers!

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I spent SO LONG searching for this book club and I was beyond thrilled when it turned out so well 🙂 Maybe you should start one yourself? You can put the requirement 21+ on it (that’s what mine is), and I’m kinda right in the middle age wise being in my late twenties.

  11. Gilly

    6 June, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Hi! I’m Gilly – @anonymeet on Twitter. I’m a local writer/blogger – Decatur. I’m not on FB so I can’t join the gropu that way – but let me know if there’s another way to connect. Would love to join a writing group – and the book club! Tweet me or email gillysegal at gmail dot com.

  12. Annette

    6 June, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I can relate so much to your experiences and feelings (sitting in the back, by myself…) But you have done great! Thanks for the encouragement. My BEA Post

  13. karinlibrarian

    6 June, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I am soooo jealous! I would love a YA book club to actually attend face-to-face. Good for you for joining – even though you were nervous!!! Thanks for participating in AC BEA.

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      I am grateful for the YA book club, I think everyone needs to start their own! It’s a great way to meet other bookish people in your town or city!

  14. neabarabea

    6 June, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Aww so good!! Glad you made the step! 🙂 🙂 I wish there would be a book club in my city :/ Enjoy aBEA! 🙂 😉

  15. Natalie @ Mindful Musings

    6 June, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Aww…your book club sounds like a load of fun! I always wish I had a real life book club to go to, but given the fact that I’m a college lit student…my entire life is kind of one giant book club meeting! Lol.

    • Breaking the Binding

      6 June, 2012 at 6:54 am

      You should start one! I was trying to find a grown up YA book club for months and was on the verge of starting one up myself if I hadn’t found this one. Meetup is a great site for just that!


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