By Kristin Bednarski
Reading can be a fun individual activity, but book club members would say that it can also be a fun group activity making it possible for people to socialize and learn new things.
Clermont County Public Library offers a number of book clubs for residents at their various branches in the community, and the clubs are an opportunity for individuals do more than just read a book.
“I think a lot of people, after they read a book they are kind of left wanting more,” Adam Baker, communications manager for Clermont County Public Library, said. “They have questions and want to talk about the book.”
Baker said book discussion groups are a great way to take reading a step further and enjoy the social aspects of discussing a book with a group.
“This is a great way for people who love the same things you love to have a chance to talk about this book,” Baker said. “A lot of the groups are led by librarians, so you have an expert that can help lead discussion.”
Wendy Calaway and Melissa Vonderheide, both from Anderson Township, said they decided to come to the Armchair Travel Book Club Feb. 26 because they love to travel and were interested in reading travel books.
“We both love to read travel narratives and thought we would give it a try,” Calaway said about the group.
Earlene Evan, of Amelia, is a member of three Clermont County Library book clubs.
“I belong because it is a social outlet,” Evan said about being a part of book clubs.
Evan said when she was a nurse, one of the doctors she knew was in a book club and it sounded like fun.
“I thought, when I retire I’ll join one,” Evan said.
Evan ended up joining three book clubs in the county, including the Armchair Travel Book Club.
“I can travel through reading about places,” Evan said about why she joined the club.
She said in addition to providing social opportunities, the clubs have also helped her exercise her mind and have forced her to read things she might not have read on her own.
“It broadens my reading experience,” Evan said. “I would just read mysteries all the time.”
Baker said Clermont County Library offers 12 book discussion groups across 10 branches in the community.
“Some entail all subjects and others are more niche groups,” Baker said about the discussion groups. “We have a travel and leisure book group, mystery book group, a family book group for all ages.”
Baker said discussion groups typically meet once a month and each month is a new book.
Baker said they also have a No Obligations Book Club.
“The No Obligation Book Club allows you to read a book and then the book comes with a handout with questions,” Baker said. “It’s kind of a book club on your own, or book club party of one.”
Baker said for people who don’t have much time, this is a good alternative for a traditional book club. He said this is also a way to get a feel for what a book club is like.
“We also have librarians on hand who can help facilitate book groups outside the library,” Baker said. “We have lots of resources that can help people start their own book club.”
Baker said residents can go to any book club in the county. He said for more information about a book club they can talk to a librarian at any of the branches, or visit the website www.clermontlibrary.org.
“It’s just a good way to go beyond the traditional reading experience,” Baker said.