Share your love of language with others.
Join a Virtual Book Club
When the Columbus Metropolitan Library temporarily closed its branches on March 13, it shared a photo on Instagram of empty shelves at its Whetstone Branch. The message was clear: People wanted their books. Two local shops have moved their book clubs online. Bexley’s Gramercy Books meets virtually the second Tuesday of every month for a moderated discussion with the book-of-the-month’s author. A general admission ticket to access the event is $5, or $29 if you would like a copy of the book. The Short North’s Prologue Bookshop offers several clubs for people to choose from. Be sure to reach out to the individual book clubs for more information, as some clubs’ memberships are currently full. A great resource to find local book clubs is Meetup.com. Three popular Columbus-area groups—The Dublin Book Club and Social Meetup Group, UA Girlfriends Book Club, and Sip and Read Columbus—have switched to virtual meetings. —Brittany Moseley
Make a Pen Pal
In May, a U.S. Postal Service survey found that consumers were writing more letters than usual during the pandemic. That’s no surprise to Natalie Keller Pariano, who five years ago turned her personal practice of artistic lettering into NatterDoodle, a business making hand-lettered goods for sale at her Clintonville storefront and 70 other boutiques. She also teaches workshops (online only, at the moment) in creating hand-lettered items, from wine bags to banners.
Around the time of the lockdown in March, Pariano began hearing from students that they were sending more letters—so she decided to offer a workshop in ways to decorate the envelope. “Sometimes the envelope is the most important thing,” she says. “By zhuzhing up or fancying up the envelope, people will be delighted from the moment they notice your card in the mailbox.” The class drew 80 participants; other popular classes have included workshops on how to create a pandemic greeting card, such as the one seen above: “I totally washed my hands before writing this.” —Suzanne Goldsmith