Paging new members
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read more in 2020, it might behoove you to know there are approximately 30 book clubs in Whatcom County designed to help you achieve that page-turning goal.
That may seem like an awful lot to choose from, but when you consider the varied interests of local bibliophiles, the number doesn’t seem so daunting.
By far, the largest aggregation of book clubs can be found at Village Books—most at the Bellingham locale. In the coming week, wannabe clubbers can drop by a General Literature Book group to discuss Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Jan. 6); attend an Afternoon Book Chat to talk about Isabell Allende’s novel In the Midst of Winter (Jan. 8); go deep with Mary Oliver’s Upstream: Selected Essays at a Living with Meaning Book Group (Jan. 8); and find recipes and camaraderie in Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over at a Cooking Lit Book Group (also Jan. 8).
But the list doesn’t stop there. Through January, Village Books will also offer a monthly Motherhood by the Book meeting, as well as Armchair Historians, A Year of Atwood, Engaged Citizens, a Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Group, Bellingham Mysterians, Community Conversations—a limited-run book group focusing on topics concerning homelessness—and Life Between the Pages, a monthly event at the venue’s Evolve Chocolate + Cafe that brings the month’s selections to life via five-course meals and associated cocktail pairings.
A new Creative and Literary Liberation group designed for people of color and anti-racist advocates rounds out the month at Village Books with a meeting on Jan. 26, and Lynden’s Books & Brews will see VB readers heading to Overflow Taps Jan. 28 to suss out Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow.
Not to be outdone, the Whatcom County Library System also hosts a variety of monthly book clubs for readers in Birch Bay, Blaine, Deming, Everson, Ferndale, Point Roberts, Kendall, and Lynden. Histories and Mysteries, Books on Tap, Family Book Group, Award-Winning Book Club, Afternoon Books and Tea, Teen Book Club, and a Spine Tinglers Book Group are among the choices for interested parties.
Bellingham Reads, a monthly discussion group taking place at the Dodson Room at the Bellingham Public Library, will also welcome new members when it meets on Tues., Jan. 28 to talk about A Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson.
For newbies to any of the aforementioned happenings—or to book clubs in general—keep a few dos and don’ts in mind when you attend. On the “do” list, make a serious attempt to finish the book before the meeting, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts (even if you disagree with the general populace), bring questions to the table, and take your turn. “Don’ts” include not steamrolling your fellow book clubbers or forcing others to contribute and veering away from the topic and book at hand.
Also, don’t forget that everyone reads at their own pace.
“There will always be someone who reads the book in a day and someone who doesn’t finish it until the day of the meeting,” a recent article on bookish.com noted. “If you’re a speed reader, don’t spoil the book for others. If you’re slow but steady, make sure you give yourself enough time to finish. Keep in mind that everyone is busy, and cut your fellow readers some slack when needed.”
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