Bookworm Babes: How One Madison Newcomer Built a Thriving Community

Madison resident Annette Rodriguez tells a story that is likely relatable to many.

She isn’t originally from this area, and when she moved here two years ago with her fiance after he received a new job, she found herself quickly craving friendship but also confused about how to seek these new relationships out. 

For her fiance, an Alabama native, it felt like coming home, but Rodriguez was starting over. 

Bookworm Babes is a monthly book club that typically meets in-person or online (though right now is only meeting online.) It's geared for women, and though Rodriguez says that many of the women are in their 20s and 30s, "absolutely every lady is invited!"

“I’d always had lifelong friends,” shared Rodriguez. “And I knew I just needed girlfriends in my life.”

As an self-proclaimed extrovert and avid book-lover, Rodriguez says that her fiance encouraged her one day to start a book club. 

Though she felt intimidated by the idea, she went for it, launching “Bookworm Babes” in October 2018.

And long story short: Rodriguez has found herself some girlfriends because “my first three group members have now turned into 257!”

About Bookworm Babes

Bookworm Babes is a monthly book club that typically meets in-person or online (though right now is only meeting online.) It’s geared for women, and though Rodriguez says that many of the women are in their 20s and 30s, “absolutely every lady is invited!”

Here is the way Bookworm Babes typically runs (and the way Rodriguez is pining to get back to ASAP);

  • Group members meet in-person at her home (or join via Zoom online).
  • While munching on appetizers and/or sipping a beverage, the group gathers to discuss the month’s book selection.
  • At the end of the meeting, everyone that met in-person is invited to suggest a book for the following month to discuss. All suggestions are written on a slip of paper and put into a bag for a drawing. Two slips are drawn.
  • From there, Rodriguez will share the two books online in their private Facebook group along with descriptions of the books. The group then votes, and a book is selected!

Bookworm Babes is a monthly book club that typically meets in-person or online (though right now is only meeting online.) It's geared for women, and though Rodriguez says that many of the women are in their 20s and 30s, "absolutely every lady is invited!"

More than a Book Club

As Bookworm Babes approaches its 2nd birthday, Rodriguez finds herself grateful for the explosive community that’s been built.

“We do so much more than meet for our book club. We have frequent “Moms Night Out” events, where we always find new places to go because of the growth of this area.”

Rodriguez shared that the group also enjoys arranging activities and events where children are involved.

“Soon we’ll be putting together a ‘secret sister’ book exchange, which is similar to a ‘blind date with a book’ like we’ve done in the past.”

Rodriguez emphasized that she has worked hard to keep the group intimate to the Madison, Huntsville, and surrounding areas in order to maintain security as well as build in-person, real friendships. She says that most members are from other places and have joined the group for similar reasons as to why she started the group in the first place.

“I really thank my fiance for pushing me to do this. I wanted to build myself a community and to see friendships formed, and we’ve done it.”

To learn more about and potentially join Bookworm Babes, email Annette or request to join their Facebook page. 

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