Our town has a new book club. It will meet on the last Friday of the month at Wauchope Travel Agency from 5.30pm.
Agency owner Robyn Flanagan hopes the timing will appeal to people who are working. Leanne Wright who is book club co-ordinator for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will attend the first one, on Friday August 25.
Leanne selected the first book, The Sparrows of Edward Street by Elizabeth Stead, and there is a set ready to borrow from the library.
It's 1948 and Hanora Sparrow and her teenage daughters have fallen upon tough times. They must move to a housing commission camp on the edge of Sydney. While their new life seems grim, they are not alone, and are drawn into close friendships with other residents.
Leanne loves her job.
“I get to meet so many lovely people who also love reading and chatting. Individuals join book clubs when they are new to town, newly retired or have gone part-time and have more time on their hands, to meet people outside their usual circle of friends.
“Groups of friends register a group with me as a way of cementing their commitment to getting together more often.”
Bookshare has grown incredibly over the last six years and the library now offers over 160 book club sets to over 80 book clubs. Each set contains ten copies of the same book with questions. If available, they may also have a DVD, audio and/or ebook.
Leanne suggests that the group looks through our book club set catalogue and each member selects a couples of titles they would like to read. She says books speak differently to different people as we all read through our own lens of experience and memories.
“I read recently that fiction readers are more tolerant and have more empathy to others as we get to experience other lives that our own every time we pick up a book.
“Keeping people on track can be tricky and some people are naturally more talkative than others. A good coordinator will gently guide the conversation and some use a talking stick or something similar to allow the speaker the attention and ears of the group,” she said.
Wauchope already has a book club – Bago Bookends – who meet in Wauchope library on the third Friday morning of the month. New members are welcome. Contact Kylie Rose at the library for further details.