Reading doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor.
While cracking open a good book can take a reader on a wild adventure or deep into a specific topic, book clubs offer the opportunity to share those experiences with others.
“It’s always fun to talk about what you’re reading,” said Megan Richardson, adult services librarian at Albany County Public Library.
“So often, you read a book and then, you have opinions and you want to share them.”
But it’s difficult to share those opinions with friends who haven’t read the same book, Richardson said.
“With a book club, that’s already built in,” she said. “You can show up and talk to people you may know. They may be new people. They may be people that you get to know on a regular basis.”
Fortunately for local readers, the library supports five book clubs catering to a wide range of genres and interests. The longest running club at ACPL is the After Hours Book Club, a group Richardson said encourages members to read more widely.
“That is just a general book club where members take turns choosing the different books, so we read a little bit of everything,” she said. “We read some science fiction, we read some memoirs, we read some literary fiction, it kind of just depends.”
Beginning in September, the library added four clubs to serve a wider audience with more particular tastes.
“We expanded it because we have a lot of people who are interested in a lot of different things, and they just want to read those types of books,” Richardson said.
“And we have staff members who are also interested in different things.”
The new clubs include both the Booked for Murder group, which reads true crime novels, and the Cozy Mystery Book Club.
“That’s more geared toward retired people, mostly older women in that one, but they’re reading mysteries that are a little bit lighter,” Richardson said. “So, not a lot of sex. Violence happens off-screen. Usually they happen in small towns, and they’re amateur detectives solving crimes.”
Those seeking to read about social justice, cultural diversity or equity might prefer the Literary Alliance club. Fans of comic books might enjoy Quintessential Sequential, which just began Richard McGuire’s “Here.”
“They’ve read some serious ones, some superhero ones,” Richardson said. “It kind of depends on the month. They’ll have some that are a little bit more cheery and some that are dark.”
Joining any book club, Richardson added, will introduce a reader to new authors and new series.
“It gets you to read a little outside your comfort zone,” she said. “It’s also a way to be social with your reading.
“We have a lot of people that start coming when they’re new to town, where they don’t really know anyone in Laramie, and it’s kind of a safe way to meet new people.”
All books featured in upcoming club meetings can be found at the library, where staff hold extra copies specifically for individuals looking to take part in a book club.
Joining any club will put readers in contact with other readers who share their passions,” Richardson said.
“That can also lead to more book suggestions, whether or not it’s the book for the book club,” she said. “Somebody else might be like, ‘Oh, if you really liked this one, then you should also read this one.’”