Mae Rome and many other residents of the Back Mountain have had the pleasure of participating in the Back Mountain Memorial Library’s monthly book discussion group since the club began in 1995.
“When we started the book club, the library had a grant that paid for a facilitator,” Rome said, adding the facilitator chose the books and led the discussions. Unfortunately, the grant was only for one year.
When the grant expired, club members took it upon themselves to continue the discussions. Now, each year, four or five members of the club have a chance to choose the titles and run the discussions. Books were chosen this term by Diana Dreher, Iran Fahmy, Patricia Crahall, Lori Stine and Rome.
Some of the titles they have already covered this year include “Shanghai girls” by Lisa See, “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson, “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese and “The Fortunate Pilgrim” by Mario Puzo.
The group will read the classic “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain in April.
“We get an opportunity to read books we wouldn’t normally choose,” said Rome. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The book discussion group meets seven times a year on Monday morning and all members purchase their own copies of the books. Rome said the group tries to pick a good mix of fiction and non-fiction titles so there is something for everyone.
This year, the club has 33 members and a waiting list of individuals wanting to be a part of the discussion.
Due to the overwhelming number of participants in recent years, the library has decided to start a second discussion group.
“We do have people frequently call about being part of the discussion group,” said Krista Connolly, circulation director of the library.
Library Director Martha Butler said. “It’s an extension of the book club that is in existence and we are looking to give people the opportunity to participate because the other one is filled. The other club was so full that people would end up on a waiting list.”
The new book club hosted its first meeting on Feb. 28 with at least six members signing up in advance. The new group will meet on the last Thursday of each month and will have the opportunity to form its own committee and choose its own titles.
Butler says the library is excited that the community is so involved that there is a need to create a second discussion group, and she hopes the new day and time will make it more convenient for those who want to participate. The library is confident the new group will be just as successful as the original.
For more information on joining the Thursday Book Discussion Group, contact the Back Mountain Memorial Library at 675-1182.