The Washburn Book Club has been meeting every four to six weeks since its start in 2000. The book club sparked an interest by an employee in the Washburn bookstore who was a librarian that wanted to share their love of reading with others. It usually meets in the union on the third floor on a Thursday at 1 p.m.
The book club is led by Denise Ottinger, vice president of student life, and Martha Imparato, a special collections librarian in the Mabee Library. People that are interested in joining the club are welcome to attend a discussion, or contact Ottinger or Imparato via email. All that is needed is a connection to Washburn in any way, and an enjoyment of reading. There is no cost to join.
There are currently about 12 members, but about eight to 10 members come on a regular basis. The book club meets year-round.
“If it’s before winter break, we try to meet in early December,” said Imparato.
People that come regularly get the opportunity to choose books for the club, and they also get to lead the discussion for their chosen book.
“It doesn’t take that long to prepare for a discussion,” said Imparato. “We mainly do fiction, but occasionally, we do non-fiction or a memoir.”
Members give opinions about what they have read and ask general questions that would be at interest.
The selected books are available through the Washburn Bookstore and can also get them special ordered at a discount through Nikki Daniels, who works in the general reading book area. Daniels has been working in the bookstore for two years.
“We order about 10-15 copies for the book club and a few extras,” said Daniels.
Some of the titles that the book club has read and discussed this year include:
“Our Stealing Horses” by Per Patterson (translated from Norwegian).
“Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Resey.
“Rode” by local author, Tom Averill.
On occasion, the book club will read books by local Kansas authors, and will invite them to join in on the discussions of their books. Averill recently discussed his new novel “Rode.”
Another Kansas author that has been read recently is Nancy Pickard, who writes mysteries and lives in the Kansas City or Lawrence area. Pickard’s latest book is called “The Scent of Rain and Lightning.”
Last Thursday’s meeting’s selection was “Fractured” by Karin Slaughter. The next meeting is planned for mid-June.