Wedding Bells in Williamsburg

I’ve got to take a moment to celebrate the wedding of Carolyn and Rich, two of the regular attendees of my Science Fiction/Fantasy Group in Williamsburg. It’s a happy occasion for two lovely people whom everyone in the group adores, and most of us were there last Saturday to help them celebrate in a beautiful ceremony and lively reception.

In case you haven’t noticed, book groups, as portrayed in movies like the film of Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club, are quite the hotbed for romantic liaisons. In my experience, this is one romantic cliche that is based in truth. While great romantic works of literature might provide some enticement, they’re not the only reason why book groups work better than speed-dating. Relationship building is part of the great draw that book groups have for their participants, and I don’t just mean romantic allure. In talking about the feelings that books create in us, we reveal emotions and beliefs, express vulnerabilities, and experience a kind of public discovery that is rare. Literature opens a path to the heart, soul, and mind that we can use to make important connections: friendships, romances, and sometimes even marriages.

This isn’t the first couple that has emerged in a book group in which I’ve participated. I’m curious, do others out there have stories about relationships forged in book groups?

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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