The other night I was enjoying the good company of 13 other women all sitting around a large, makeshift table having a discussion that never suffered a pregnant pause even though some of us barely knew each other and others of us were meeting for the first time.
What would inspire such a gathering? A book of course. Part of a longstanding book club, we were meeting to discuss Paper Towns by John Green, the latest book chosen for this club (and a featured book for the Waupaca Area Library’s upcoming book festival) which meets monthly to discuss young adult literature.
During the summer months the venue for the book club is the Clearwater Harbor restaurant, on the shores of Taylor Lake out near King. How fun is that? We sat inside on this particular evening, and despite having a view of the comings and goings in the Men’s Room, (note to men: quit taking your drinks in the bathroom with you - Shudder!) we enjoyed great camaraderie around the book. I try not to take my life and all the wonderful things about it for granted. On this particular evening, I thought about how lucky I was that I lived in a part of this great big world where meeting to discuss a book, any book, was a right I did take for granted.
There are so many places in the world where something so simple is not allowed, where, in fact, people are imprisoned for doing such a thing. Indeed, in some places women and girls are not allowed a chance to be educated let alone free to read the great literature of the world. Even in these darkest of places, however, you’ll find book clubs meeting under threat of arrest, imprisonment, even loss of life.
There are numerous book clubs in Waupaca County. Almost all of the libraries have at least one book discussion group and there are book clubs organized by churches, schools and groups of friends. Consider joining one.
And remember the next time you read, check out, purchase, or discuss a book, just how lucky you are to be able to do it freely.