For more than three years, I’ve been in a virtual book club with another college friend Alexis.

Alexis is one of the few people I know that reads as fast as I do and she crushes me in the amount of books she reads each year. She’s introduced me to dozens of books I probably wouldn’t have found myself and I am all the better because of it.

As long as I can remember, our conversations have always included an element of books even if it’s just to ask what the other person’s reading. On a weekend trip with another dear friend, Meg, the idea for virtual book club was born.

I had the first selection  and (don’t ask me why)I chose Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Which is among the top 10 worst books I’ve ever read.

Sadly, Meg passed away suddenly before we could read any more books together but I’m pretty sure she would have simultaneously elevated our reading level with some heavy weight biographies and plummeted it with some trashy romance novels because that was the amazing type of person she was.

Partly in honor of Meg and partly as a way to ensure we’re keeping in touch, Alexis and I have continued Virtual Book club.

Our virtual book club “meetings” have been via Skype, in person, via email but are most often tacked on to a marathon phone call during which we catch one another up about our lives.

Virtual book club means Alexis and I stay in touch. We don’t set deadlines to finish the book and we both rely heavily on the public library system which often means waiting out hold queues. But even if our notes to each other are “I’m halfway done, give me two more weeks. How are you” The communication is frequent and familiar.

Here are some of the titles we’ve read in the last three years…I’m definitely forgetting some:

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Ready Player One
The Luminarees (I’ll be honest I never finished this)
The All Girls Pumping and Filling Station
The Rosie Project
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Shop
The Cuckoo’s Calling
The Lowland

In a time of our lives when it’s easy to lose touch with people that have so greatly shaped who we are, virtual book club is one of my favorite things. The Happier Podcast that I listen to actually recommends something like this as a happiness tactic. Sharing an interest with someone you want to keep in touch with more frequently is a great way to sustain relationships over the miles. (Like our blog!) Even if these two things weren’t already going on when I heard their tip, I would have agreed wholeheartedly.