Erin Woodward has been running the London Girly Book club since July 2008. Each month around 30 women turn up to a local bar to discuss Erin’s choice of a book to read. What’s interesting, according to Erin, is that 70 percent of those women go with the intent to make new friends; “The book is the one connection they have when they first turn up. It’s less intimidating if you have something to talk about. In fact no one ever turns up who hasn’t read the book.”
Erin started the group after moving to the UK from Canada and didn’t know anyone here. She looked online for a social group to join and not finding anything, she decided to form her own social meet up. Over the following months she made a close circle of friends and admit that these friends no longer attend the book club—a trend that she says continues: “Once the girls have the friendships they don’t need to go anymore. They got what they wanted!”
These days you only have to look online or join any of the social networking websites such as facebook, twitter or Qype to see the choice of meet ups to attend. Meetup (www.meetup.com) is a website on a mission to ‘help the world’s people self-organize into local groups.’ The site, formed in 2001, has over 60,000 Meetup Groups scattered over 11, 507 cities worldwide—suggesting that its mission is well on target.
But why now? Indeed women have always formed social groups from the Girl Guides to mother and baby groups to the W.I (The Women's Institute) and N.W.R (The National Women's Register) but moving into the next decade it seems that we have progressed beyond the Ann Summers, Avon and Weight Watchers clubs that were popular with the eighties and nineties.
Image:© Creatas / Jupiterimages