Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Members' Lounge

A couple of years ago I came back from a Readers Advisory seminar (Readers Advisory being library jargon for the work we do that helps people find books for leisure) wanting to start a book club at our library. My friend and colleague, Chrissie, pointed out that single book clubs run in libraries are an awful lot of work expended to serve very few people. She later realised that there was another model we could use and the first year we had sixteen clubs.

That was 2008 and this year we had 35 clubs. 350 people in country book clubs. We got together to celebrate a year of reading and sharing. I love the photo of this lady mid-conversation.

Photos were taken of me while I spoke to the group and each and every one was taken at the moment when I looked most ridiculous.

We had two friendly RSA staff members to serve the wine and they were kept pretty busy. Everyone had a wonderful time, even those who had been less than thrilled with the books their club received. We had people put post-it notes on two pieces of cardboard - one for the most loved book and the other, the most loathed. I love how there are several books that appear on both lists - that's why the readers can be so hard to please!

Most Loved

Most Loathed

The Forgotten Garden (5)

The Dressmaker (3)

The Book Thief (2)

Salvation Creek (2)

The God of Small Things (2)

The Uncommon Reader (2)

The Shadow of the Wind (2)

Jane Eyre (2)

Dirt Music

Norwegian Wood

To Kill a Mockingbird

A Confederacy of Dunces

Winter Close

Mister Pip

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

The Poisonwood Bible

The Other Hand

Salvation Creek

The Idea of Perfection

Marie Antoinette


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas

A Taste for It (5)

Eucalyptus (3)

The Submerged Cathedral (2)

A Confederacy of Dunces (2)

The Man Who Lost Himself (2)

The God of Small Things

The Shadow of the Wind

Running with Scissors

A Town Like Paris


All the Pretty Horses

Love in the Time of Cholera


  1. I'd call that a success.
    Imagine if we could organise church events that saw 350 new people involved within two years!

  2. Most most loved and loathed list is very interesting! :)