Discussing a good read
Marilyn Mardiros was looking for a book club last fall. She found the Adult Book Club at Vernon Library.
“I wanted a club with a variety of people from all walks of life. They hooked me. The diversity of opinion is awe-inspiring. I listen and think, ‘I never thought about it that way,’” she said.
The Adult Book Club was started by reference librarian Kristy Hennings, who chose the first round of books for the club, which has been meeting once a month since last September.
“I knew there was a demand for a book club in town because there are more than 20 private book clubs,” she said. “I always like to think of ways to get people to the library and I was curious about who would show up. People tell me that they would never have read some of the books otherwise and that they enjoy discussing them in a group.
“I find it really exciting because I learn so much from the observations and life experiences of people and how they react to the ideas in the books.”
Mardiros agreed that she would not have thought to read some of the books but was interested in all of them.
“We learn about the authors and the circumstances in which the book was written,” she said. “We encourage people not to see the movie first. I hadn’t read novels for years but this gave me permission to get into areas that I haven’t got into before. Being in the club has affected how I think about other books and things I hear on the news. People can stay behind to continue the discussion and get to know each other. Some people in the group go out for coffee together at other times.
“You discover new writers. I discovered Erik Larson. People don’t need to come to every meeting of the club, just when they want. And there’s no cost.”
Hennings said even if people didn’t enjoy the book, she welcomes them to the meetings.
“They can tell us why they didn’t like it, or just listen if they don’t want to comment,” she said.
The library has extra copies of book club books (and eBooks) available so that people don’t have to buy the books unless they want to.
“There’s so much good stuff to read and we already have some great suggestions from the club for the next session. People are interested in taking it to the next level and into more depth. We hope we get even more members for more perspectives,” said Hennings.
Mardiros is already looking forward to the next season.
“Every book is different and new people come each time. This is a good thing for the community. The library is such a vital part of the community,” she said.
The Adult Book Club meets one Saturday a month from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The next meeting, to discuss We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, is March 23. The book for April is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. For more information see www.orl.bc.ca.