Book lovers, unite
Book clubs are a great place to meet and socialize with fellow book lovers. Now that spring is coming, this is the time to shake off the winter doldrums and get out of the house and check out a few of the clubs around the area.
With more than two dozen to choose from, there is sure to be something out there for everyone, whatever your taste in books. Groups meet in local book stores, libraries, houses of worship and even private homes. Some are open to the public while others are limited to members only, though members are welcome to bring a guest.
Some of the book clubs that welcome new members include:
427 Books Club
Third Wednesday of each month, 12:05 p.m.
Books on the Square, 427 E. Washington St.
Judy Wagenblast describes herself as an eclectic reader and enjoys being around books and talking to people. Often, she’d have people tell her they were looking for a different kind of book club. In October 2018, she invited people to a meeting at Books On The Square, located in downtown Springfield.
People opted to start a book club that was centered around a new theme every month. Members choose their own book to read that is related to the theme and then share their experience with the book with the group. Participants are welcome to bring a lunch and join in over the noon hour. For more information, call 217-965-5443.
Barnes and Noble Book Club
First Tuesday of each month, 6 p.m.
3111 S. Veterans Pkwy.
Looking for a way to connect its stores with communities, Barnes and Noble started holding quarterly book club meetings at each of its locations nationwide last May.
The group that meets at the Springfield store was so popular that it began meeting monthly, and members selected their own book to read each month in between quarters. More than half of the original members are still in the group.
Each group reads the same book, which tends to run toward modern and historical fiction. Michelle Anderson is the coordinator and said discussions are usually very free-flowing, with members using the reader’s guide provided with each book to facilitate discussion. For more information, call 217-546-9440.
The Book Rack Book Club
First Tuesday of each month, 5:30 p.m.
2943 W. White Oaks Dr.
Stephanie Bond had toyed with the idea of starting a book club at The Book Rack for some time. Several customers had expressed an interest, and an inaugural meeting was held in March 2018.
She and the other store employees strive to create a homey, welcoming atmosphere which she likens to a night out with the girls, although men are also welcome. She wants to encourage people to read outside their comfort zone and open them up to new books.
Members select each month’s book, which is posted on the group’s Facebook page, along with discussion questions. Bond also plans to start an “Early Bird” book club. For more information, call 217-241-2102 or visit the group’s Facebook page.
Second Tuesday of each month (September through May), 11:30 a.m.
227 E. Adams St.
Lovers of the written word looking for something different are welcome to attend the monthly luncheons and presentations at the Sangamo Club. Members invite a speaker, who submits the title and a brief synopsis of the book they are going to discuss.
Ali Murphy, who is the Club’s membership director and works with the committee, said presentations have ranged from talks on Argentina to baseball to the Civil Rights movement to Lincoln to Shakespeare. Speakers include retired professionals, academics and motivational speakers.
For those who enjoy learning about new things, call the Sangamo Club at 217-544-1793 to reserve your spot at the next get together. The cost is $22.50 and includes lunch.