SUBMITTED BY CAMROSE PUBLIC LIBRARY (KELLY HIGGINS)
Libraries and book clubs go together like mac and cheese. It just makes so much sense that one would go with the other and you would be hard pressed to find a public library that does not offer some form of book club to its community. Book clubs do not just happen in the library, of course, and they can be found in living rooms, pubs, cafes, and parks around the world. They are a way for people to get together, enjoy each other’s company, maybe have a few drinks, and if they get around to it, talk about a book.
There are so many great book club ideas out there, and all you really need is a friend or two to start a successful club. Clubs can have a theme, think Jane Austen, graphic novels, Pulitzer Prize winners, harlequin romances, or you can just wing it and read whatever you feel like that month. There are Cookbook Clubs, where members choose a recipe from the same cookbook and bring their dish to the next meeting (or just a bottle of wine if the recipe does not work out). Silent Book Clubs where introverts and wannabe introverts gather to read their own individual books together, but silently; or article clubs, where the books are scrapped and members just read and discuss an interesting published article. The real beauty of book clubs is how fluid they can be, they can be one thing one month, and then something completely different the next. It is really anything your group wants it to be.
A few summers ago 20-something staff at the Camrose Public Library were looking at different extra-curricular groups and activities to do in Camrose. Besides sports groups, very little was offered in the way of free group activities during the summertime, and fewer aimed at younger adults in their 20’s. Even the library, which offers a plethora of adult programming (which you should check out, obviously) slows things down in the summer and only a small handful of these programs are aimed at young adults. From this somewhat dismal discovery The Plot Matures was born, a book club for people in their 20’s. The first meeting was held on a Tuesday night at the library, a couple chairs were set out, and a single plate of cookies was provided, in the hopes that one or two people would come. Instead, 20 people showed up! A wonderful mix of people from different backgrounds who were looking for a way to connect with like-minded people and read some good books while they were at it.
Fast forward a couple of years to the present day, and with the exception of an assortment of different members, the book club has essentially stayed the same, attracting a lovely variety of people to get together once a month to hang out, chat about books (and movies, podcasts, pop culture etc.), and eat delicious treats. Many club members are new to the city and looking to make connections, some want motivation to read, others come because their friends do, and some may just be coming for the free fro-yo…but, no judgement 😉
A book for the following month is chosen at the end of each meeting, and copies are put on hold at the library so participants can come pick them up at their convenience. There is no theme in choosing titles, but the group has recently delved in to the likes of non-fiction and science fiction with some favourite titles this year being The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, and Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. New members are always welcome to the club and people are encouraged to come to a meeting even if you have not read the book!
This month’s title is The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. The next meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Twisted Frozen Yogurt. If you would like more information you can join the Facebook group ‘The Plot Matures: A Book Club for 20 Somethings’ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org