National Library Week seems like a good time to write about a book discussion group. READit (Read, Eat And Discuss it) takes place each Thursday morning at the Cherokee Public Library. Each participant brings at least one book they're reading and we take turns talking. The books do not need to be library copies.
When the group was first established some members stated that they were a fiction reader or a non-fiction reader. It's been fun to see how that has changed and the lines between the two have blurred. As a dyed in the wool fiction fan, I know it has been good for me to expand my horizons. The following are examples of what can happen.
The Flamenco Academy, a novel about dancing, turned into a winter's exploration of the gypsy culture for READit members a few years ago. One book lead to another, both fiction and non fiction.
They were shared, brought in by inter library loan and talked about as we discovered how the gypsies were feared and persecuted in Europe. And then we went on to gypsies in the United States which was fun for me as my grandmother used to talk about the gypsies coming through Nebraska each spring.
This year one of the members brought her copy of Wallace Stegner's Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, a book of essays on the American West. That led to another member sending for Big Rock Candy Mountain, the novel the author wrote based on his life. I read both. The neat part is I would probably never have encountered either one if I hadn't been a part of READit. Anything I knew about a candy mountain and lemonade springs came from a song that was on a record in my childhood collection.
Sometimes the READit discussions are pretty intellectual. Other times they consist of the group giggling as someone recounts a humorous passage from a book they read that week. Everyone shares as much as they want to. Some listen more than talk. Some are stretched to read one book a week. Others read several. Some bring a notebook, others make notations on napkins. Everyone has a good time. It's always interesting and it's always different from week to week.
We love having new faces at READit so if this type of book discussion appeals, please mark your calendar for Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. In fact, the group enjoys each other so much that most of them come at 9:30 a.m. to get in a half hour of visiting before the talk turns to books. Please join us. Call 225-3498 and ask for Mary Jo if you have questions.