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Library book clubs bring excitement to reading

At the Library

The Grand County libraries don’t need a blockbuster Hollywood movie to understand the value of book clubs.

While it doesn’t hurt that the film “The Jane Austen Book Club,” currently in wide release nationally, has hit a positive chord with critics and audiences, the truth is that Grand County’s libraries have been sponsoring, nurturing and hosting book clubs for many years. And this is for book clubs that meet in and outside of local library buildings.

“The Jane Austen Book Club” is the story of six women who find friendship, conflict, understanding and even romance through their affiliation with a book club that has set out to read the classic novels of Jane Austen.

It’s not so far-fetched to imagine similar things happening in local book clubs right here in Grand County.

Consider, for instance, the words of Stephanie Ralph, the adult services librarian at the Granby Library.

“Reading a book is like enjoying an excellent cafe latte on a cold morning, while a book group is like finding a good friend in the coffee shop and spending time,” Ralph said. “Basically, there is nothing as delightful as sharing the experience of a good book with others. It gives new perspectives, sharpens impressions and generates new ideas. As more and more people explore this pleasure, book groups are growing into a new success story within the reading community. In Grand County, the Library District supports numerous groups and runs others at each of the five branches.”

Take, for instance, the Kremmling Library’s Night Owl Thematic Book Club. Its theme for November is “Leave a Smaller Footprint.” The book to read in November was “Not Buying It: My Year without Shopping” by Judith Levine. Not shopping and not leaving a footprint certainly go hand-in-hand. But will all the readers agree on that point?

At the Hot Sulphur Springs Library November’s book is “Sleeping With Fear” by Kay Hooper. The 7 p.m. discussion Monday, Nov. 12, could evolve to the point where it keeps attendees up at night indeed. The book is a popular paranormal, romantic thriller. Call Lynn Shirley at 725-3942 for more information on this group.

The Juniper Library at Grand Lake has two book clubs: the Brown Bag Book Group and the Mountain Folks Book Club. The Brown Bag Book Group meets at 12:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month. The Mountain Folks Book Club, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, is a popular social and reading group that meets in and out of the library. Call Sue Luton at 627-8353 for more information.

The Granby Library has two different book clubs meeting in its new facility.

Something new this month is the Fireside Chat Book Group. This group conducts an in-depth exploration of world literature from a variety of critical perspectives. The group meets 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12. Contact the Granby Library (887-2149) for materials.

Novel Teas Book Group, which takes a relaxed and social approach to reading discussion, takes on “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss. Check out the book at the Granby Library and join with other members of the book group to share your thoughts at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26.

Suzie Royce Cruse, a librarian at the Fraser Valley Library, helps put book club kits and discussion guides together for several independent book groups. Whether the title is newly published or an “oldie but goodie” perhaps 20 years old, she can put together a collection of books, audio and movies (if available) together.

The Fraser Valley Library offers two Young Adult book club kits.

Book club kits come in fiction or nonfiction selections and the included discussion guides can help make for very interesting conversation, Cruse said.

For those of you in book clubs around Grand County, let your branch library know if you are looking for new members.

Whether you serve wine and cheese at home or meet at a restaurant, participation in a book club can keep people connected even when cabin fever is high.

Call Cruse at the Fraser Valley Library at 726-5689 for more information on how Grand County libraries can help with book clubs.

The Grand County libraries – hosting book clubs and nurturing a love of books, in and out of the libraries. Hollywood, after all, has nothing on Grand County.

So watch for something like “The Jane Austen Book Club” in your community library. It’s like living a Hollywood movie, right here at home.


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