Estelle and I met at a wedding in Texas. We had this brief serendipitous moment where we connected over books, but that was short lived as we went home at the end of the night. Estelle returned home to New York, married James, and somewhere along the way we connected on Twitter (and then Facebook, I think). That turned into emailing and lots of g-chatting back and forth.
Recently I read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and I couldn’t stop thinking about how similar Estelle and I were to Beth and Jennifer, and I tossed out the idea to Estelle that we should really dig deep into the beginning of our friendship to see what we could find. Inspired by Beth and Jennifer’s conversations, we’re sharing some of our personal gems from the very first times we chatted and tweeted.
July 11, 2011: (five months after we met) reading goals.
August 24, 2011: book splurges.
August 30, 2011: the very first mention of starting a blog together and considering a partnership. Our blog launched on 11/1/2011 so the idea festered for a little while before we decided to move forward and then we spent a solid month planning and writing before going live.
September 16, 2011: on what we like to read + the library.
<Magan to Estelle> Oh yea, which book blogs do you follow?
I like reading new releases so I can be on the forefront of what’s good. Usually I’m so far out of the loop.
The library is harder to use when you want to read brand new books.
I’m trying to get good at reserving them online and being patient. I’m not a patient person though.
<Estelle to Magan> Ah, I’ve been good with that so far.
We borrow from all the libraries in our county so I haven’t had much trouble.
<M to E> Before we left [on vacation], I had 10 books checked out of the library and I read 7 of them. The other three I didn’t want to read anymore. I read what I’m in the mood for. I can’t just pick up anything at any given moment.
<E to M> I feel the same way.
September 21, 2011: Dustyn, my husband, turns 30, and James hasn’t started law school yet.
<Magan to Estelle> I’m having a bunch of people over tomorrow for a pizza party for him. Haha!
It’s kind of like he’s a little kid.
I’m trying not to make his birthday too big of a deal.
<Estelle to Magan> I like it!
It sounds like something we would do.
<M to E> 🙂 And we could do it together if James gets into law school here!
(Oh, here i go.)
I could talk to you forever.
<E to M> Hahaha 🙂
I hope the movie is good.
<M to E> Talk to you tomorrowwww!
September 22, 2011: the first idea for our blog name.
<Magan to Estelle> I wish I were reading right now. Ha!
I went to the library and got 6 new books, so I’m excited to sit down and start something new.
<Estelle to Magan> I wish I were reading now.
That should be our title.
<M to E> YES!
That would be so appropriate.
<E to M> Or like “I wish I were reading now” with a little ^ in between the last two words and it says “right.” Haha!
<M to E> Oh yeah! Good thinking!
I have GOT to get better about putting books on reserve at the library so they can pull them from other libraries. I went through my goodreads list alphabetically searching for books and I got to letter N before I even found a single one on my list!
I think you and I are a lot alike in many ways – how busy we are is just another similarity. It wears me down, but I still keep putting things on my schedule.
<E to M> I KNOW. OMG
James wants to shoot me.
I always make plans, but in October I made none.
I’m just bummed because I have 2 friends I’ve been trying to see and I haven’t seen them since my wedding.
<M to E> It’s so hard to stay on top of everything, especially relationships and friendships.
<E to M> And I feel like I’m the one who plans all of these things.
And I’m kind of tired of it, ya know?
<M to E> Yes, I know exactly how you feel. I have a lot of friends who wouldn’t be proactive at scheduling together time if I didn’t do it. I know they love me and care about me, but they just aren’t good at it. Sometime last year, I got so tired of trying all the time. I just pulled back. Ironically enough, things finally leveled out a bit with them. With one person in particular that finally did the trick. She finally started saying, “I miss you. I haven’t seen you in forever. We should do xyz.”
I think who we ARE influences WHAT we read.
September 26, 2011: Snippets of our frequent book recommendations on Twitter (back when I didn’t use my @magansays account as much, but also another validation that my work is what brought us together.) 🙂
…later that day:
<Magan to Estelle> What’s the hardest part about reading a book for you?
<Estelle to Magan> Starting? When I’m super tired. Haha
<M to E> It’s always starting for me too.
Or ending sometimes if I don’t want the series to be over.
I stretched Harry Potter out for as long as I could.
Like right now, I want to read, but I actually don’t want to start another book. I want to get to the meat of it right away.
<E to M> Yea that happens.
September 30, 2011: stuck on a train + book recommendations.
<Magan to Estelle> Hiya!
<Estelle to Magan> I read another book you should.
Not That Kind of Girl
And I started Lola [and the Boy Next Door] today.
<M to E> Hahaha
I finished The Piper’s Son last night.
Also think you should read that one. It’s by an author I really like – I’ve read 3 of her books recently.
She’s from Australia.
You’re on a ROLL lady!
<E to M> Well I got stuck on the train for 2 plus hours yesterday.
So I finished an entire book.
Oh I’ll add it. What’s the authors name?
<M to E> Woah!
I recommended Jellicoe Road by her to you.
And I read Saving Francesca, but liked Fixing Delilah better – same kind of subject matter.
<E to M> I’ll have to look into them!
<M to E> Yeah, I like her a lot. 🙂
Why were you stuck on the train for 2 hours?!
<E to M> There was a huge problem after lightning struck a generator.
<M to E> Wooow.
Never in a million years did I think that I’d meet one of my best friends while photographing a wedding. What are the odds? (Truthfully, most wedding parties sort of loathe the photo-taking portion of the day so I kind of expect them to not remember me.) Before we began Rather Be Reading, Estelle and I had both gone through this whole “I love books again” phase after being burned out in college and we were devouring absolutely everything in our paths. It’s pretty amazing to see and feel that spark and to read about how excited we were, and to know that we’re really proud of that little book addiction becoming this little blog.
I’m really grateful that Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments led us to wade through the past to find these snippets of the beginning of our relationship. (Confession: I used to wonder if Estelle just thought I was so silly; I was, and still continue to be, so impressed by her ability to thoughtfully break a book down into such a meaningful review.)
All that being said, if you haven’t read Attachments, do so now (Goodreads • Barnes & Noble • Amazon) because it’s lovely and inspiring and some of Rainbow’s best work. I’m positive I’ve had a book hangover for weeks after finishing it.