Monday, April 21, 2008

My Town Monday: Library Readers Group

Saturday I attended my monthly readers group at Anaheim's Euclid Library, my local branch. Last week was National Library Week, so this seems a good time to feature the library. The group began in February 1997, so we've entered out twelfth year together. Only one person, our intrepid leader, librarian Karen Gerth, remains from the original group.

Our group is a little different in that we don't all read the same book, like most groups do. I wasn't in on that first meeting because I was scheduled to work the information desk that morning, but apparently the group didn't like the idea of same book every month. What they decided instead was to pick a topic for each month and let everyone choose their own books. When I saw what the group was doing, I asked for a change in my work schedule so I could join, too.

Our monthly topics range from the serious, like literature, history, politics, and biography, to fun topics like Books Made Into Movies, show business, and various genres, including mysteries, romance, fantasy and science fiction. This last month we read books set in California or written by California authors. We have our own book bin in the library, and the librarians fill it up with books on our topic.

Every month I take notes on what everyone has read and type up a bibliography with the author and title, plus the reader's comments about the books. The monthly topics and bibliographies are posted at the library website. The group is a lot of fun and I've made some dear friends. It also keeps me reading outside my romance comfort zone, which is a good thing.

Are you in a reading group, and if so, how do you decide what to read?


My Town Monday comes to us via Travis Erwin. Thanks, Travis! Click on his site, One Word, One Rung, One Day, to read his post about Charles Goodnight and find links to the other participants.



Barrie said...

I'm not in a reading group. But I do like the way you run yours with a common theme. :)

Linda McLaughlin said...

I think more people would join reading groups if they didn't have to read the same book every month, but that's just MHO. We do end up reading each other's books, though, just not in the same month.


Kathleen said...

A reading group with a theme sounds like a perfect way to organize it. Sounds like fun, too.

C. Ellis said...

I like that idea of having themes as opposed to everyone reading the same book.

I used to belong to a reading group a long time ago, but got bored fast and quit.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Kathleen and CC,

Having a topic and the freedom to pick your own books, plus getting to see what everyone else has read is a lot more fun. I'd get bored with someone else picking the book for me every month. Esp. if it's literary fiction.


Kathleen said...

Linda, your subject for last month-- reading books with California settings or books by California authors-- is supportive of local writers. I enjoy reading books about real places where I can even gain a bit of history. Author T. Jefferson Parker is talented in that way

Linda McLaughlin said...


Funny you should mention T. Jefferson Parker. His name came up in our discussion though no one read his books this time. Some of us have in the past, though, since so many are set in Orange County.


deboradale said...

What a great concept, Linda. Love it.

I don't belong to a reading group. I wish I had the time to, but I don't. I do read the monthly book discussions on my RWA chapter board, though. Does that count? ;-)


Linda McLaughlin said...


LOL, I guess that counts. Why not?


Travis Erwin said...

Linda I missed linking you this week. I'm sorry. If you will drop ame a comment once you post your MTM I'll be sure and get your post added to the lsit. I hate for readers to miss your insight.