Let's Talk About Books!
Posted by: Misha Stone
Today, since my colleague Linda was on vacation, I facilitated the book discussion for the open-ended discussion group, “Let’s Talk About Books!” The Fiction department calls in “LTAB,” simply because we, like other groups in general and libraries in particular, just love acronyms.
Anyway, LTAB is an informal group that meets twice a month where readers can come in and talk about what they have been reading. Here is our blurb about the group:
Come talk with librarians and other book lovers, share your book suggestions and get ideas for what to read next. This is a totally low-key drop-in group. Brown bag lunches welcome.
Whether you’ve been reading fiction, nonfiction, children’s, teen, audio books, graphic novels, braille, and everything in between, you can come to LTAB and share and hear from other readers. The only ground rules are that you be considerate of how many people have come to attend who also want to speak–to keep it semi-short. Try to just talk about one book at a time (we go around the table once, sometimes twice). And no spoilers–some of us might want to read the book you’re talking about!
I co-facilitated this group, back when it was led by two librarians, for three years or more. I loved it. Because it’s informal and drop-in, you get to meet so many readers from diverse backgrounds. Sometimes it was a couple just visiting from Australia, or a young homeless man who is a fixture in the library who heard the announcement and came by to check it out, or an executive from another downtown building. All of us together swapping stories about books. It’s been a while since I had been with the group, and I had forgotten how fun it was. There were three new members who had only been once before who were obviously delighted to have found LTAB. We were all charged up and energized to talk and listen.One die-hard member, who’s been in the group since I helped start it in 2003, is the best at talking about books she hates! She is colorful, descriptive, expressive! As I tell my regular book group–don’t just say you didn’t like it or loved it and leave it at that (although I generally discourage love/hate statements, or ask that they be saved until the end of discussion)–tell us why! The group heard lots of whys today, and we were all in stiches.
As Kaite’s recent post attests, moonlighting for someone else’s book group is not always easy or fun. But this time it felt like a honeymoon.