October is perhaps my favorite time of the year. And it’s because I pass by pumpkin patches on my way to the post office and I find Honeycrisp apples at the supermarket and I get to eat candy corn after a year of missing it. I’ve recently, though, found a wonderful new reason to love October – it’s National Reading Group Month! And as a librarian who runs two book clubs and attends another, I can’t help but get behind this cause.
If you enjoy reading at all, you should consider joining a book club. The act of reading is a very personal, private one. The way you experience a book is unique from how anyone else in the world will experience the same book. Reading is typically something we do alone, apart from our friends and family. Which is why I think reading groups are essential. We understand books so much better when we can discuss them aloud. Book clubs allow you to share your intimate, one-of-a-kind experience with a book with others, which in turn helps them gain new perspectives and insight they may not have otherwise enjoyed. Discussing a book allows us to see things we may have missed. I cannot tell you how many times I have prepared for a book club, believing myself to have been incredibly thorough, and then heard myself say several times during the discussion, “I hadn’t thought of that.” It also helps that our library’s book clubs happen to have some of the very best readers in the world. They are passionate about what they read and sensitive to the smallest details.
Plus, we happen to have a lot of fun! I feel like everyone who attends our two book clubs has become a friend of mine. If you’ve not joined us, I hope that you will. If you’re shy or worried for any reason about speaking up, I guarantee that will go away within the first few meetings. You probably won’t be able to keep from speaking up at some point in our discussion. And if you don’t have time to finish that month’s selection, that’s okay, come anyway!
Our two clubs each meet once a month. Non Fiction Addiction takes place on the first Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. For November 6th, we’ll be discussing “Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard. Main Street Book Club is held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. So next week, on the 21st, we’ll be discussing Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior.” I can’t wait to see all of you there!