by Noreen Young
The Mississippi Mills Ladies’ Relaxed Reading Club is only one of many book clubs in Almonte. The Relaxed Ladies don’t take themselves too seriously and if one of the members hasn’t had time to read the book that month, they don’t automatically get booted out of the club. They can even be temporarily forgiven. The Ladies’ book discussions usually lead into a general free-for-all on other interesting topics and there is always time for catching up on news.
Other book clubs operate on a much more challenging level and, in that kind of club, it definitely wouldn’t be cool to NOT read the book. Googling the book’s reviews the night before would not be acceptable either. In that kind of club, you need to come prepared with well considered notes and provocative insights. You also need the confidence to stand up to the more lippy intellectuals of the group. All book clubs are not the same. They are not exclusively female and some have a membership of men and women.
Whatever the style, belonging to a book club definitely encourages your literary intake and often takes you down paths you might not otherwise have chosen.
Mary Lumsden of Mill Street Books in Almonte welcomes all local book clubs to hold a meeting at her bookstore once a year when they are planning their programs. She generously provides refreshments and advice regarding the availability of their selections. “If book clubs give me a list of their titles, I offer 20% off those listed for members”, she says. Mary is glad to liaise between book clubs, letting them know if others have selected the same titles so they can trade.
Mill Street Books is an independent book store located at 52 Mill Street in Downtown Almonte.