On May 4, Beijing based book club Reading Between the Wines will be hosting an event which will feature a group of diverse authors. The twelve writers will discuss their work, sign copies of their books, and answer questions about the creative process and the journey from manuscript to published book. The event will also provide plenty of space for networking and early attendees will receive a free gift.
Kayla Brown is from the Bahamas and has lived in Beijing for two years. In addition to being the founder of Reading Between the Wines, Kayla is also in the third year of a university degree in medicine. We spoke with Kayla to learn more about the book club and the forthcoming event.
BJK: Why did you decide to start Reading Between the Wines?
Kayla Brown (KB): I was part of a book club at home which started off with a couple of ladies and myself. We just started discussing books that we had read. We all loved wine so it sounded like a good idea to add wine to it. When I moved to Beijing, I felt like books were missing from my life. It felt like there was something awesome that I had not found here. So I decided to bring the concept to Beijing and try to create the same experience I had back home.
BJK: How does the book club operate?
KB: Reading Between the Wines started about a year ago and it’s open to both men and women. I’ve hosted about eight events so far. We have a WeChat group and that’s where we decide which book we will read. There’s a month in between the meetings so we have time to read the book. For the past two meetings, we’ve met at this cool little restaurant with a meeting room. Wine is still a big part of it. I have a wines sponsor called Party Hard. They provide the wine each month. The meetings include interesting games, book-related trivia, and prizes.
I’m a student on a very demanding course and there are a lot of working people who are part of the book club. Not everyone has time to finish the book so I always stress that it’s not necessary to complete the whole book. That’s what makes it fun. I want people to know that reading isn’t something that is boring. Reading is cool; it’s not something that is of the past. Book clubs can be fun, it’s not just about sitting there with an open book and discussing the text word for word. Actually, in our book club, no reading takes place during the meetings.
BJK: Why should people attend the “Meet the Authors” event?
KB: It will give an opportunity for book lovers to come and purchase books and get the books signed by the authors. That’s a rare opportunity. Inspiring writers and authors can come and get their questions answered. People experiencing writer’s block can come and receive help with the writing process. They can also learn about how to get a book published. This event is a great chance to come and meet the literary community. And there will be free wine from the sponsors. It will be an educational experience for people interested in books and people interested in writing.
BJK: Tell me about the authors that will be participating in this event.
KB: We have a really assorted group of authors who are coming out. We have nine countries represented. There are a lot of interesting genres— poetry, humor, memoirs, self-help, and international relations.
BJK: What inspired you to organize this event?
KB: I’ve been toying around with writing a book. I have all these questions and I don’t have a mentor.
I thought I’m probably not the only one with these issues. So, I just decided to start asking around if my friends knew any authors in the Beijing area. From that, I learned that some of my friends were actually published authors and I didn’t even know it. People also began turning me to people outside of Beijing who were willing to travel in and share their knowledge. So it just turned into something much bigger than I expected. I was expecting to find just a few authors but now the event involves twelve authors which I think is amazing.
Book the Author, May 4
RMB 50. 6-9pm. Blue Marlin Bar and Restaurant. 蓝枪鱼西餐酒吧 北京朝阳区东三环北路4号 (WeChat ID: rbtw_beijing, email@example.com)