Mt Laurel readers come together

Readers in the Mt Laurel and North Shelby area now have a forum to share their love of reading with others who feel the same way.

The Mt Laurel Book Club, sponsored by the North Shelby Library, meets the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. Meetings are usually held at different members’ houses from month to month.

“It’s an outreach effort to reach our community and an outlying area of our library district,” said Lori Skinner, adult services coordinator.

Skinner said the book club is also designed to build excitement for the library currently being built in Mt Laurel.

The book club has been planned since July, and began meeting in October. Although it’s called the Mt Laurel Book Club, it’s open to anyone who wishes to join.

“We’ve had a lot of interest, and the community has been very supportive,” Skinner said. “We’ve had 8 to 12 people at meetings. We were hoping for that size turnout so we’ve been very pleased.”

Book club selections are chosen every six months. Members of the club suggest books they want to read, and then vote on the nominations. Some books are the newest best-sellers, while some are old favorites. Books already read include “Book Thief” by Markus Zusak and “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Edwards.

The library provides discussion guides and talking points to jumpstart discussion on the different books. Copies of the books may be checked out from the library, but there’s no guarantee there will be enough copies for everyone, so some may have to buy the books.

“We try not to use a brand-new book so that we can make it more available,” Skinner said. “If we have a new best-seller coming out, we may read it later on, so that we can make sure more people will have more access to copies of it.”

The book club is about introducing people to new books and new friends.

“It’s encouraging people to talk out loud about their love of literature and reading,” Skinner said. “It gets people excited about reading. They’re reading things they might not read on their own.”

To get involved with the book club, contact Skinner at 493-5510 or at skinner.lori@yahoo.com.

Books on the schedule include:

Jan. 8, “The Memory of Running” by Ron McLarty. (The Jan. 8 meeting is on the second Thursday of the month because of the New Year’s Day holiday.)

Feb. 5, “The Third Angel” by Alice Hoffman.

March 5, “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd.

April 2, Testimony” by Anita Shreve.