Expand your horizons — and your social circle — by joining the UCPL Book Club

TENNERTON – In search of a new indoor hobby and an expanded social circle in 2020? Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to read more?

Well, why not consider joining the Upshur County Public Library’s Book Club, which offers the opportunity to read new books, meet new friends and share thoughts on a common book. Moreover, it gives folks chance to do one of their favorite pastimes – read!

The book club meetings are held at the Upshur County Public Library, located at 1150 Route 20 South Road in Buckhannon, on the first Thursday of each month beginning at 5:30 p.m. Their next meeting will be Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Upshur County Public Library Director Paul Norko said the club is always open for new members. He noted most libraries have book clubs, adding that the Upshur County Public Library Book Club got its start in 2017.

“The group is member-led, and we operate a Facebook page so folks can see what book the group is reading,” Norko said. “We get kits of books for the members to read and the State Library Commission has 200 to 300 titles they lend out for book clubs.”

Norko said there is no real fee associated with the book club; however, he said if the choice of book is not available from the Commission, there may be a slight fee for mailing the books to the library. The books are borrowed from the State Library Commission for the most part, although some people choose to purchase the books the club is reading for that month.

Norko explained the book for the next meeting is usually available at the library during the monthly book club meetings.

Along with hard copies of the books, Norko said those who prefer to read on their tablets or iPads can also receive the books in e-book format, and those who work at the Upshur County Public Library can even help folks sign up to be able to borrow e-books from the library.

“Beyond what those in the book club are reading, we have more than 31,000 e-books available to us,” Norko added.

Norko said not everybody can make it to every meeting.

“That’s perfectly fine,” he said. “Members do not have to attend each meeting to be a part of the group.”

The books read by the book club are selected by its membership during one of their meetings.

“Every few months, the members pick out the books they will read,” he said. “Some of the books the club will be reading include ‘Glass Castles,’ and ‘Where the Crawdads Sing.’”

During the January meeting, members each had different favorite authors and titles of books they enjoy, but everyone agreed they like reading other types of books they may not have originally thought they’d like. Each person agreed they didn’t like each book they read but enjoyed discussing and sharing their thoughts with one another.

One member said she felt it was fun to hear what others thought about the books, and another person said the group allows her to read books from other genres. Book club member Robin Keough said she’d previously felt stuck reading books that were all in the same genre – but that the book club offered titles from many different categories.

“It makes you stretch, and has you read something you would not normally read,” Keough shared. “Then you get to discuss that with everyone else and see the different viewpoints.”

Norko said he hopes folks will come out and join the Upshur County Public Library Book Club.

“It is my wish that people will use the library more,” he said. “This club helps expand people’s reading horizons, which is a good thing.”

Member Gene Thorn said the book club forces him to finish books faster.

“Some of the books are so good, I have a hard time putting them down,” Thorn said.

Norko said anyone wanting to join the Upshur County Public Library Book Club should stop by and talk to anyone working at the library and get signed up. Then, they will be added to the Facebook group.

“Or if you want to, just show up for the meeting,” he said. “Usually we will have a book for them to begin reading, or we can sign them up for an e-book.”

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