Library Book Clubs Connect Readers

Library Book Clubs: Share Your Love for Reading With Others

I called my dad as soon as I finished the book. It was too good to keep to myself. Murder mysteries are not my favorite genre, but the quirky, lovable characters and brilliant writing in Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache series captivated me from the beginning. Since my father is a former police detective, I knew he would not only love the intricate psychological twists and turns of each case, but he’d appreciate the sensitive, brilliant detective Armand Gamache as well. I knew he just had to read this series too. Since then, we text constantly about the books, the characters, and our new desire to visit Quebec, bonding over a shared love for this book series and the paths it leads us down.

The Pleasure of Sharing Books
Woman's arm pulling book off bookshelf

There’s a unique pleasure in sharing books with someone else. Reading is a singular, personal hobby, best done in a squishy armchair beside a crackling fire (in my opinion), but the journeys we travel as we read often lead to revelations that we want to announce to the world. We crave connection and communion with other readers, a reminder that we are not alone in the things that inspire us and compel us, or give us joy and pain. It is exhilarating to find other people who have made similar discoveries, who have experienced the truths and pleasures and challenges in the same books that we have. Forging bonds built of books- the ones we love as well as the ones we hate- is one way to come together on common ground.

Book Clubs For Everyone

For those of you longing to connect with fellow readers, a library book club is a fun option. Libraries offer a variety of book clubs for readers of all types, so there’s certainly something for everyone. A popular option is the genre book club, like the New Berlin Public Library’s “Mystery of the Month” club or Brookfield Public Library’s “Back In Time: Historical Fiction” book club. Other book clubs at Pewaukee Public Library, Dwight Foster Public Library, and Powers Memorial Library, read a variety of books that cover fiction, non-fiction, and even Young Adult titles.

Like to eat while you read? Try new recipes- literally- at Alice Baker Public Library’s “Cooks and Books” club and Watertown Public Library’s new “Cookbook Club”, where everyone brings a dish to pass. If unstructured is more your style, come to the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library’s “What Are You Reading?” club to talk about the titles you’ve been working on and get recommendations from other readers. Libraries host teen and tween book clubs too, like the “Book Speed Dating For Teens” program at Mukwonago Community Library.

Book Club Kits

Maybe you already attend or even host your own book club, and can’t go to another one. The library still has something for you: book club kits, which include multiple copies of the same book, as well as discussion questions. Check them out and your book club meeting is all set! And if you can’t commit to a meeting, you can still participate in Waukesha Public Library’s annual month-long reading club, Waukesha Reads, which takes place every October. The month is full of programs, discussions, and events that relate to a selected book. This year’s book is Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng; free copies (to keep!) are available at the library in September. However you find your tribe of fellow readers, your reading experience will never be the same when you share it with others. Happy reading!

Written by Jill Fuller. A version of this article appeared in the Waukesha Freeman, the Oconomowoc Enterprise, the Daily Jefferson County Union, and the Watertown Times. We will be sharing those pieces here on our website a few weeks after each piece has been printed.