This post comes from our party organizer and inventory manager Jan, who also co-manages our New & Noteworthy Book Club.
I really cannot say this enough: our community is awesome. It really and truly is. At the beginning of the month, BookPeople book clubs decided to celebrate the collective with the First Annual Holiday Party and Book Swap. BookPeople sponsors over ten book clubs. Employees–and in some cases former employees–host monthly discussions covering a variety of genres and subjects–all of which are completely free to attend. But this is the first time club leaders decided to combine all members of all book clubs at once to thank our members for showing up and sharing their insights and interpretations each month.
In addition to coffee, wine, cookies, and snacks, we held a book swap. Anyone could bring any amount of books they wanted to share or just get rid of (hey, sometimes the match isn’t made in heaven; it happens) with the option to add a post it note to “sell” their books, or just let the titles speak for themselves. We saw mini-blurbs like, “How to Get Away With Murder…in a book!” on Robin Kirman’s Bradstreet Gate; “Sexy and silly” on Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s The Sirens of Titan; “True crime fiction at its finest!” on Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood; “Like Oliver Sacks? Try Ramachandran!” on V. S. Ramachandran’s A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness; and “Matt Damon is in it!” on Andy Weir’s The Martian. We think everyone enjoyed being booksellers for this brief moment. The book swap table was a huge attraction, drawing browsers nearly the entire night. Discussion during meetings is limited to an hour, so it hardly ever turns toward individual tastes. This was an opportunity to open the stage of discussion based on personal preference and recommend without hierarchy. And even this was completely optional. There were absolutely no requirements for entry. No one turned away at the door.
We join book clubs because we understand the social need to share unbound ideas. In doing so, we take active engagement with the text and participate in community critical thinking. The exchange of ideas based on shared interest (in books, or particular kinds of books) is what drives the BookPeople community, which would not exist without you. Thank you, from the bottom of our bookstacks to the top.