Clubs provide friendly atmosphere for bookworms

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    By Dale Rowse

    Many people want to read for leisure but feel they don?t have the time. Book clubs can help those people find time to read.

    Book clubs provide a flexible organization for people to read literature separately and meet periodically to discuss what they have read. The structure encourages members to read so they can contribute to discussion, and the flexibility allows members to enjoy the reading without feeling pressured.

    Heather Keele, the community relations manager for Barnes & Noble in Orem, said she plans and schedules all of the store?s events, and she loves to have book clubs.

    ?The nice thing about book clubs is that you find people with similar interests and they help you stimulate your mind,? Keele said. ?I just graduated from college, and I miss having people to discuss literature with. Luckily I get to do some of that in my job, but I?d like to have more book clubs to work with.?

    Keele said they currently have a classic literature book club and a children?s book club. The children?s book club is based on the ?Magic Tree House? set of books.

    Rachel Parson, 8, from Pleasant Grove, said she?s been going to the ?Magic Tree House? club for four months.

    ?I like some books because they are funny and some because they are exciting,? Parson said. ?I read a tiny bit everyday, but when I?m reading a book with more than one chapter I read more.?

    The ?Magic Tree House? club met on Wednesday. They discussed the book ?The Night of the Ninjas,? and the kids learned about Japanese culture.

    Keele said it?s easy to start a book club, and they accept just about any genre.

    ?Anybody with a special interest is more than welcome to facilitate a book club here,? Keele said. ?We?re always wanting to start more clubs. We?d like to have a young adult club and a women?s fiction club. I have a lot of other ideas, too, but we need people to facilitate and attend for these clubs to work.?

    Another option for book lovers who can?t or don?t want to go all the way to Orem, is to follow the example of a group of BYU students and start an unaffiliated book club. This kind of club meets when and where the group members decide.

    ?The Paper Cuts? is a book club that started in November and meets on campus once a month. The founders, Elisa Findlay, 21, from Everett, Wash., and David Grover, 23, from Sugarland, Texas, said they were inspired to start the club by a love for reading and a talk LDS apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave about reading good books.

    ?We were eating lunch one day, and we started talking about books,? Findlay said. ?Then we decided we needed to start a book club, so we did.?

    Grover said Elder Oaks?s talk about reading to learn got him excited about leading a book club. ?The Paper Cuts? has about 10 members with an average attendance of seven or eight. The gatherings are informal, with food and discussion that can lead just about anywhere.

    Lindsay Baccus, 21, from Seattle, said ?The Paper Cuts? provides her with a framework to read good books and discuss them.

    ?I like being in a book club because the other people in the group give me suggestions of what to read for leisure,? Baccus said. ?I don?t know where to start with my reading, outside of homework and scriptures.?

    Grover said he agrees with Baccus.

    ?The best thing about book clubs is that it gives motivation to people who like books but don?t have the drive to take time to read,? Grover said. ?Book clubs also foster discussion, and by talking about literature you can come to understand it better.?

    For more information about joining or starting a book club e-mail , or call Heather Keele at 801-224-3526.

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