Times are hectic: the heat is raging, school is starting soon, and schedules are packed tightly. Enjoying a summer read in the comfort of your home is one way to cool off from daily stress.
This summer, the Huntley Area Public Library implemented an innovative way for readers to join a book club without having the hassle of driving to the library to discuss novels to others.
“Sometimes people are too busy to come physically into the library,” said Doug Cataldo, the library’s marketing specialist. “We had an idea to try something different.”
Now, instead of coming to the library at a designated time to talk about books, patrons can simply join an online discussion-based group through Facebook to do what they love but at whatever time is suitable for them.
“What’s nice about it is you don’t have to be here at a specific time for a meeting,” said Leigh Ann Porsch, communications development coordinator for the library. “It’s whatever is convenient for you.”
With no cost and no obligation, the only thing you need to sign up for the online book club is an interest in reading and discussing books, and a Facebook account. Members must be 18 years or older due to the adult content contained in some of the selected reads.
“We wanted to make it as easy as possible to discuss books,” Cataldo said.
Within the first month of the club’s launch, 10 people signed up and read Kathryn Stocket’s The Help, which received no negative feedback. July’s book is Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone, and August’s book will be The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.
Book selection for the first couple months was done by library staff member Susan Oberhauser, but beginning in August, members of the club will pick titles.
Porsch noted that regardless of your location, you still can join the online book club.
“You can join from wherever you are at,” she said. “If you moved away, you can still be active with it.”
The library anticipates the popularity of the club will grow.
“There’s a chance that if we do see success with this, we’ll add an online youth group as well,” said Cataldo.
To sign up, visit huntleylibrary.org/onlinebookclub.