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Book Clubs Bring People Together by Samantha Roll

Samantha RollThe holidays are all about spending time with loved ones and while this year is different from the rest we are still finding ways to connect. Last month, I talked about how my family interacted over Thanksgiving. It involved sharing recipes, coordinating mealtimes, and discussing a book we had all agreed to read–the verdict being a good one there.

Even though some of us were hundreds of miles apart, the powerful combination of a good read, food, and that all important company made the distance seem like nothing for that time. This is not surprising since both food and books bring people together. For instance, eating dinner as a family gives us an opportunity to bond by regularly bringing us together to talk about our days, cares, worries, and anything else that might be going on. These are the kinds of shared moments that bring people together and exactly why books are another avenue for companionship.

The reason books bring people together is very simple: books take us places or offer us new ideas. Because they inspire so muchreading Pairdiversity of thought it makes sense that we would want to discuss our ideas with each other. This is why so many people join book clubs–and there are so many of them these days, all made possible by the internet or social media. Many of our favorite celebrities, including Oprah and Reese Witherspoon, have their own book clubs. However, a book club can be as official or unofficial as we want it to be, or similarly as large or as small as it needs to be. It can encompass an entire series of books or cover a single volume. Book clubs can be limited run, too, or even seasonal. The point is, book clubs are for everyone and you get to decide what that means for you.

You can join a website like www.goodreads.com and find a group of people reading just about anything. Or you can do what I did and start one with your family. It’s a little late for this Christmas (unless you happen to choose a collection of short stories or poems) but it might be something to think about for next year.

Library staff across several branches participated in something of a book club secret Santa by writing down a favorite book and exchanging with each other as a way of getting to know one another better. It was so enjoyable that everyone is planning a second round.

solo ReadingHere at your Lake Placid Memorial Library, Laura and I have started reading Frank Herbert’s classic “Dune” series, beginning with the prequels written by his son Brian Herbert in conjunction with Kevin J. Anderson. I read all the books when I was younger and can safely say that this is my favorite series of all time. There is nothing like an epic space opera taking place over tens of thousands of years which culminates in such a perfect way! I remember thinking I could never be so happy with the ending of a series ever again, and this has remained true to this day. It’s going to be a bit of a journey, but I am looking forward to the re-read and especially Laura’s thoughts on everything. We hope you’ll come discuss “Dune” with us or visit your Avon Park, Sebring, or Lake Placid branches to tell us all about the book clubs you have formed!