Funny thing about the book club meeting at Halls Branch Library this Saturday, March 3.
It’s not really a book club.
“It’s Not a Book Club” Literary Social Hour is designed for people who love books, love sharing books, but don’t want the school-assignment feel of a traditional book club.
Branch Assistant Shirley Butter is in charge of the program, which she calls “a literary gathering.” She said in her 23 years working at the Halls branch, she came to expect patrons who would come to the desk for suggestions of what to read next, and patrons who would give mini book reviews as they turned in their books. She became adept at remembering the info to pass on to the next patron who needed a suggestion.
Now, she’s getting the patrons together to swap book reviews in person.
“I thought it would be really interesting if we could have a time and place for all these people who like to read to gather together,” she said. “As we’ve grown we find ourselves swapping books out and reading material that we probably wouldn’t have read on our own. Once we got together, we started broadening each other’s horizons.”
The club started about five months ago with two people and has grown to five. Butter expects seven or more at Saturday’s meeting. She said participants don’t even have to be reading a book currently. They can just come and take notes or talk about a book they read 10 years ago.
“It’s book lovers sharing their love of literature,” Butter said. Even better, Butter can share what books are coming to the library’s shelves so club members can get on the reserve list.
Butter said she’s gotten turned on to new books through the club, including “A Man Called Ove,” and Anne George’s Southern Sisters series. A favorite of hers, “Back to the Wall,” is on the library’s waiting list because “everyone in the club is reading it.”
In addition to “It’s Not a Book Club,” there is a traditional book club that meets at the library, plus plenty of programs for all ages.
“The library is for everyone, whether you’re single, married, have kids or no kids,” said Butter. “This community has a really valuable resource in this library. If we don’t have a book you want, we can order it from downtown or inter-library load. Literally, if it’s somewhere in the country we will find a way to get it to you in Halls.”
Butter said she’s also looking for local suggestions for a quarterly lecture series at the Halls Branch Library.
“It’s Not a Book Club” Literary Social Hour meets every first Saturday at 3 p.m., in the library’s meeting room. Info: 865-922-2552 or http://www.knoxlib.org/about/hours-and-locations/halls-branch-library.