Library book club celebrates its 30th year

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 30, 2015


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After launching in 1985, the Shelby Township Library’s Afternoon Book Club is still going strong.                                                 

Approximately 18-25 members show up at the group’s meetings, which take place on the third Thursday of each month. In its 30-year history, the Afternoon Book Club has read more than 300 books.

On Dec. 17, the club chose its books for 2016. The Friends of the Shelby Township Library threw the group a party with a special cake, and the library itself gifted each member with a journal to make notes while reading.

“I wouldn’t be able to prove this in any way, but a previous director at a previous directors’ meeting said ours was the longest-running library-run book club in Michigan,” said Elizabeth Campion, the librarian in charge of adult programming.

Campion said the group consists of mostly women — there is one regular man — and mostly retirees because of its 1 p.m. meeting time.

“It’s really friendly,” she said. “We have some great discussions that can be really in depth. Over the years, a lot of them have become friends. It’s a great way to get to know other people.”

Bette Meyer, an Afternoon Book Club committee member who has been with the group for eight years, said that the group votes on a list of books that the committee compiles based on reviews and interest.

“Throughout the year, (the list is) tweaked about five or six times. It also depends on how many books are available, because we have such a large group,” Meyer said. “It’s a process of trying to do a mix of fiction, nonfiction and classics.”

Members receive the list, including a synopsis of each book, in November. Based on the synopsis, members volunteer to moderate the discussion of a particular book.

“A lot of people do a lot of research about the author and everything,” she said. “We usually try to include one book a year that we can bring an author in, and one book a year we can watch the movie for it.”

Myra M. Baade, a Shelby Township resident since 1958, is an original member of the Shelby Township Library’s Afternoon Book Club.

“I wanted to just get in with a nice group of women and enjoy books,” Baade said. “Each one has a different view of the book, which makes it really interesting.”

For more information about the Afternoon Book Club or other library book clubs, call the Shelby Township Library at (586) 739-7414.