A couple weeks ago, the latest Gilmore Girls trailer dropped along with an announcement of the release date for the revival. Suffice it to say, many of us have a lot more than turkey and pie to look forward to this Thanksgiving. Until then, those of us in Brooklyn who are starry-eyed for Stars Hollow and looking for a fix, besides binging on Netflix, can check out the Gilmore Girls Book Club at Greenpoint’s Word Bookstore, a way for Gilmore Girls fans and bookwormy, aspiring Rory Gilmores to nerd out by reading and discussing books that are either mentioned on the show, or Rory Gilmore is shown reading.
Former Word employee Ally-Jane Grossan started the group back in January, when she was still working there as events director. (She is currently the senior editor of Bandcamp). “Word has a bunch of monthly book clubs, and I always wanted to start my own, and I’ve always loved Gilmore Girls,” she told Brokelyn. “The Word logo and sign that hangs outside of the store in Greenpoint always reminded me so much of the Stars Hollow Bookstore sign, so I thought it would be really perfect and funny.”
A little Gilmore Girls trivia: throughout its seven seasons, 339 books are referenced. This shouldn’t be surprising to fans of the show, who know that Rory devours books faster than Lorelai downs cups of coffee. In the world of Stars Hollow, Rory reading a book is as commonplace as Sookie klutzing around in the kitchen, Michel rolling his eyes, Kirk getting a new odd job or Dean being generally insufferable.
The group, which is open to all lovers of words and Gilmore Girls, meets at Word in Greenpoint on the fourth Sunday of every month at 5pm — and it became so popular, they added a second meeting on the fourth Monday of the month at Word’s Jersey City location. Each book club pick is for sale at Word, for a 10 percent discount.
“We read anything mentioned on the show, try to do a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and other genres,” Grossan says. “It’s a regular book club, we drink wine or champagne. For the first 30 minutes or so we talk about the book, and then the conversation inevitably drifts into the show.”
At a typical book club meeting, anywhere from seven to 15 people will show up, a mix of regulars and newcomers. The Facebook group has 180 members.
If you ask Grossan why she picked a certain book, she can tell you the exact moment it figures into Gilmore Girls. Take August’s pick, Please Kill Me: An Oral History of Punk: “Season 2, Episode 19, ‘Teach me Tonight,'” Grossan says. Rory, still dating Dean at the time, is tutoring future boyfriend Jess in American History, when he interrupts her to ask if she’s ever read the book.
“I remember being 13 and hearing that, being like, what is that book?” Grossan says. It is one of her favorites to this day, which goes to show the literary influence GG can have on a precocious young watcher, (or really, bingers of any age). When the group meets this month to discuss Please Kill Me, the writers Leggs McNeil and Gillian McCain will be there.
Past books include The Group by Mary McCarthy, which Rory is seen reading while in line to buy tickets for the Chilton formal in Season 1. September’s pick is Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.
Important question: What are Grossan and members of the book group’s thoughts and feelings about the revival?
“We’re all excited,” Grossan says. “We’ve talked about doing some kind of all night marathon or maybe a trip to Connecticut to one of the towns the show is based on.”
But, “I feel like we were all a little irked by the trailer,” she adds. “We didn’t love the dialogue. Seemed like they’d lost a little chemistry. I’m excited but I’m trying to keep my expectations low.”
It’s not too late to read Please Kill Me in time for the next Gilmore Girls Book Club meeting August 28. For further literary Gilmore Girls resources, check out this list from Goodreads, which categorizes books by season. And of course, the Gilmore Girls Wiki page will tell you everything you ever wanted to know, including books mentioned and pop culture referenced, by episode.