In the Company of Readers


by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_134073986Little did I know when I grumbled over precious time spent getting my novel onto the shelves of a local food chain that the effort would result in a magical evening in the company of avid readers. I was invited to a meeting of the Book Travellers, an octet of women whose group demeanor is a combination of the delicacy of porcelain and the strength of spider silk, women who have woven friendship into a book club that has endured two decades.

The Book Travellers are so named because each member returns from every trip with souvenir bookmarks for the group. The group chooses their books a year in advance, at a sleepover, in a cabin, on a nearby lake, each June. Through their meticulous ‘bookkeeper’, they keep track of every meeting (attendance, books read, and comments) and have done so since 1998.

They take turns hosting the event and, during my visit, they appeared to be as comfortable in their host’s home as they would be in their own. (author note: a wonderfully infectious state of ease.)

Our evening began with tea and dessert and progressed to discussion of my novel and books in general.

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Elizabeth made Lemon Pavlova. Delicious!

Personal details slid through book talk, information about connections made through vocation—librarian, teacher, nurse, accountant—and avocation—curling, volunteering, walking, travelling. There were snippets with giggles about surprise birthday jaunts and fragments with sighs about thoughtful memorial gifts.

Overall, a delightful evening  in the company of readers, one which served not only to deepen my fervor for reading but also to re-ignite my passion for telling stories. More importantly, I experienced a surprising gift: the joy of being in the presence of unmatched  strength and vitality. Truly Canada’s Steel Magnolias.  

And so, to: Elizabeth, Bonnie, Judy, Randi, Nancy, Magda, Leona, and Kathy, I express my heartfelt thanks.

My best to all of you, always,

Annie Signature Light Blue


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P. S. Dear Writers, Marketing can be a pain in the posterior: In my case, it took five trips to the store, several forms that had to be filled, trashed, replaced, filled again and edited; it also took a few emails to the wrong people before finding the right people. I was left wondering if time-consuming grunt details are worth it. They are. Do it.


4 thoughts on “In the Company of Readers
  1. What a great experience, Annie. Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in finding out more about how you approached the “local food chain,” what percentage of sales they took, etc. How have their sales been? Is this chain also one we would find other parts of BC (eg. Vernon)? Did the invitation to present at the book club come out of the blue or had you known any members of the club before? Best wishes to you in your writing and publishing endeavors.

    • A wonderful experience indeed!
      I approached the food chain after I noticed a book by a local author on their shelves.
      I had not known any of the book club members prior to this. One of them contacted me through my website and asked if I had discussion questions for my novel (I prepared them.) She also asked about contact through Skype; when I realized they were local, I asked if they were interested in having an author visit. They were.
      Please feel free to contact me through email for any other information.
      It’s a pleasure to hear from you. Many thanks for your good wishes.

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