Book Discussion Groups

  • Saturday, April 19, 2014

Recently, librarian Michael Nelson wrote a column about the library's book discussion groups and their value in giving people an opportunity to share ideas and opinions. Discussion groups have become very popular all over the U.S. in the last 20 years or so. These groups meet in libraries, homes, churches, colleges, community centers, restaurants and book stores. There are even online book groups.

Many groups choose fiction titles, but there are groups that prefer more serious literary topics and select nonfiction books. Sometimes groups select a mixture of genres, or they can choose to focus on biographies or memoirs, mysteries, women's literature, science fiction, romance, history, poetry – the possibilities are endless.

When I lived in Georgia, I was invited to join a neighborhood book group. I thought this would be a great thing since I love to read. I dutifully read the assigned book and even did a little research on the country where the novel was set. When I arrived, all the members were very friendly and we ended up spending the next three hours talking about schools, children, husbands, gardening – everything but the book! The book was never once mentioned. I had a great time, but this definitely was not a book discussion group.

There are quite a few book groups or clubs in the Mount Pleasant area, and many of them get their books from the library. The staff at the reference desk are often asked for recommendations on books suitable for discussion. One way to find good books is by using the library's database, NoveList Plus. This database has a wealth of information: author read-a-likes, book discussion guides, recommendations, reviews and summaries. To access this database, look for “Quick Links” on our homepage, www.ccpl.org, select “Research Tools,” then “ALL A-Z” for a list of databases and find NoveList Plus. For home access, you will need your library card number. You may search by author, title or series. Also, you can narrow your search by genre and age group. Lists of popular award winners, such as Pulitzer Prizes and Agatha Awards, are a valuable feature of this database.

Another way to find books for your discussion group is to search on Google for “book discussion recommendations.” A couple of good websites are www.goodreads.com and www.litlovers.com. Both of these sites offer a wealth of information about thousands of titles.

If you are thinking of forming a book group or club, there are many things to consider: frequency, duration and location of meetings; number of members; the type of books the group would be interested in reading and how to select them. Another consideration is whether there will be a discussion leader.

Did you know that the Charleston County Public Library has book club kits? The kits come in a plastic container and contain 15 copies of the book and also discussion guides. The kits check out to one person for a period of six weeks.

To find out what kits are available, go to the catalog and in the search box type “book club kit.” There are more than 20 titles to choose from. Some of the most popular titles have been “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese, “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, and “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls.

Come to the Mount Pleasant Regional Library to find more resources for book discussion groups. Thanks for reading.

Library Programs

Spring Break Planetarium Programs: The Lunar Eclipse and Constellations of Spring

Wednesday, April 16 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Thirty-minute sessions start at 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Join Andy Cohen of Dome Education and explore the lunar eclipse and the phases of the moon. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.


Play: STAR Therapy Dogs

Saturday, April 19 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Practice your reading with canine friends – the best listeners in the world.


Play: Get Ready for the Bunny

Saturday, April 19 from 3-4 p.m.

Make and decorate a paper Easter basket.


Fantastic Reads Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, April 21 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Blood Oath” by Christopher Farnsworth.


Afterschool Movie for Teens (grades 6-12)

Monday, April 21 at 4 p.m.

“Thor: The Dark World.” Rated PG 13, 112 minutes.


Earth Day 2014

Tuesday, April 22, all day

Stop by the Children's Department to help us celebrate Earth Day 2014 by checking out our display, adding a leaf to our Earth Day tree and taking home a seed of your very own to plant (one per patron).


Great Decisions Group II: Food and Climate (adults)

Wednesday, April 23 from 4-6 p.m.

For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or mtpreference@ccpl.org.


Play: Lego Club (ages 4 and older)

Saturday, April 26 from 2-3:30 p.m.

What can you build with library Legos?

Storytimes

Babygarten (ages 0-18 months with a caregiver)

Wednesdays, April 16, 23 and 30 at 10 a.m.

Friday, April 18 at 10 a.m.


Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver)

Thursdays, April 17 and 24 at 10 a.m.

Twos and Threes Storytime (ages 2–3 years with a caregiver)

Tuesdays, April 22 and 29 at 10:30 a.m.


Fours and Fives Storytime (ages 4–5 years)

Thursdays, April 17 and 24 at 11:30 a.m.


Saturday Storytime (planned for ages 2–6 years; all ages welcome)

Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 26 at 11 a.m.


Susan McSwain is a Library Assistant in the Reference Department at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161. She writes the “MTP Library Matters” blog. Find the blog at www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com.

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