Library to begin book group |

Library to begin book group

by Caryn Haller

Retired librarian Mary Meyer loves having a good book discussion — better yet, she loves guiding a good book discussion.

Meyer, 62, is leading a monthly book group beginning in January at the Minden branch of the Douglas County Public Library.

“It’s a great thing the library is willing to try. I think it will be popular,” she said. “My former library had four groups and they were all full. People have told me the book group was the best thing they ever did.”

Meyer moved to Minden in October after retiring from the public library in Perrysburg, Ohio, where she led book groups for nine years.

“It’s a great way to take your reactions to a book and share it with other people to see what they think about what you’re reading,” she said. “A lot of times you learn more about the book from what they observed. It’s a good way to connect with other people and learn more about literature.”

The Minden group will meet 5-6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month.

On Jan. 8, the group will discuss “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck.

Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in California.

“This is one of my favorite books. John Steinbeck met his first wife in Lake Tahoe. It’s really an interesting story,” Meyer said. “It’s short, and I wanted to be sure that with the holidays people didn’t have an overwhelming task of reading a book.”

After reading each month’s assigned book, group members will meet and discuss what they thought about it.

“My personal style is not to be too formal,” Meyer said. “You want people to share their feelings, you give a little information on the author, when he wrote the book and how he wrote the book. Sometimes just talking about the book itself is the way to go.”

Meyer has many books in her personal list of favorites including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Les Miserables.”

“They have major themes of social and psychological significance,” she said. “They make you think about life, how our society is organized and human nature.”

A different book will be read and discussed each month. The list includes recent best-selling novels, nonfiction books, and classics.

“I tried to put what I felt were sure-fire winners for good discussion. Like ‘The Wives of Henry Oades,’ not many people have heard about it, but we had a great discussion about it in my other groups,” Meyer said. “I want people to get a love for reading, and reading books they would not normally take off the shelf at the library. That’s the value of book groups.”

The library will have copies of the books available for loan, although there may be a waiting list.

Anyone interested in joining the book group should call the library at 782-9841. Callers should provide a name, email address and phone number.

Find the library on Facebook,, or for more information call Linda Wilson at the library.