The enjoyment of reading is nothing new. For centuries, people have taken to the written word to either educate, explore, solve a mystery or fall in love.
Celebrating the joy of reading is local book club the Lynchburg Page Turners Book Club. The club members have been meeting for several and enjoying the written word, while also building a sense of community
The Lynchburg Page Turners Book Club was formed in the summer of 2012. According to charter member June Pugh, the club got its start thanks to Lynchburg resident, and retired Army nurse, Carol Little.
Pugh recalled that while helping at a United Methodist Women’s yard sale in the spring of 2012, Little made a declaration that Lynchburg needed a book club. Little was told that if she would start one, she had several readers who were ready to join and from there the book club was formed.
The request was then put into action. With the help of the First United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, which offered its fellowship hall as a central meeting place, the first meeting took place in June of 2012 with six women in attendance.
It was decided at the first meeting that the group members would meet one morning each month, except for December, and they wouldn’t worry about providing refreshments.
Table of contents
Since its inception the group has enjoyed welcoming friends and guests into the group. The club doesn’t enforce a strict attendance policy, something that, according to member Phyllis Smith, is one of the best things about the club.
“We just come when we can. There is no judgment if someone is not able to make it,” said Smith.
Another asset to the club is the how the books are chosen.
Each January, the club’s monthly meeting is devoted to selecting books the Page Turners will read for the year.
According to Pugh, in making selections there is an effort to include suggestions from as many members as possible. They have tried to read a variety of fiction, nonfiction, mystery and historical titles, along with at least one “classic.”
“We try to choose books that we could have a good discussion about, something that we could learn something from,” she said. “We’ve stayed away by choice from the traditional women’s romance novel. I guess it’s because we want to read something with a little more substance or that is real.”
Smith said each member is charged with doing research on at least two of the recommended books to help narrow down the list to 11 titles.
“We each have a few books to review,” she said. “We’ll get on the internet and look at ratings for the books and kind of make a decision on if this is a book we would like to read. I’ve said yes to some that turned out to be terrible and others that have hit the mark.”
There is also no requirement to read an actual book, electronic books and audio books are welcome as the club recognizes that everyone has their own favorite way to read.
At 10 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month, the ladies meet. The first order of business is to rate that month’s books from 0 [terrible] to 10 [wonderful].
“At the beginning of the meeting, each member rates the book without any discussion until everyone has rated the book. Throughout the meeting we will discuss why each person chose the number they did,” she said.
Pugh added that ratings run the gamut with each book. There is also a discussion regarding all aspects of the book, led by the month’s designated leader.
Member Jeannie Williams said each member respects the others’ opinions of each book.
“The rating system in nonjudgmental. We all respect each other’s tastes and opinion,” she said.
A happy ending
Each of the members said that they look forward to their monthly meetings and enjoy numerous benefits from attending.
Everyone agrees, however, that there are two benefits of being members of the club.
One is that they are able to read books that they may otherwise never have even considered reading and two, they have the opportunity to meet new people.
Currently, the club has a membership of around a dozen readers, but the Page Turners are always looking to welcome more. The only requirement is that you enjoy reading.
The club meets at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, except December in the fellowship hall at the Lynchburg First United Methodist Church.
Local Book Clubs
The Travelling Book Club. Contact Bunny Comer at 455-5791.
First United Methodist Church Book Club. Contact Margaret Savelle at 454-0718.
Lannom Library Book Club. Meets last Sunday afternoon of the month. Call 455-2460.
First Presbyterian Church Book Club. Call 455-9328.
AEDC Women’s Club Book Club. Call 455-3569.
Southern TN Ladies Club. Contact Violet Nauseef at 967-2545.