A Good Read and Much More

The Many Book Clubs of Greenwich



Photograph by Bob Capazzo

A room without books
is like a body without a soul.

— Cicero

Reading is one of life’s great dividing lines: It’s either as important as breathing or a pleasant pursuit of minor consequence. However, if you’re an inveterate reader — if you cut your teeth devouring Narnia by flashlight, feel bereft without a stack of novels on your nightstand and have been known to peruse cereal boxes in a pinch — this is the town for you. With a population of roughly 60,000, Greenwich supports the busiest public library in the state with two flourishing branches, the Perrot Memorial Library, two independent bookstores, a Borders and more book clubs than you can shake the proverbial stick at.

There is no official list of book clubs in Greenwich, but Jenny Lawton, the proprietor of Just Books Too in Old Greenwich, has a formula for the final count: “Take the number of women in town, take 80 percent of them, and divide by ten. That’s the number of book clubs.”

Book clubs split into three categories — library, bookstore and private — and run the gamut from a casual confab in a coffee shop to a sit-down luncheon with a moderator or hired facilitator. There are singles and couples clubs, kids clubs, faith-based clubs, newcomers clubs and innumerable others that spring up simply because, as Jane Liu, cofounder of the Lia Fail neighborhood group, says, “We all enjoy each other’s company enormously and are avid, avid readers.” Special interest clubs include those focusing on foreign affairs, science fiction and Great Books (all meet at the Greenwich Library), and those associated with the Alliance Française, Amici Del Libro and the German Club of Greenwich that read in the mother tongues. The style may vary but the content is constant. It’s all about the words on the page, and the engrossing experience of diving into another world and then re-emerging to share the journey.

“I’d never run a book club before I bought a bookstore,” says Jenny, who moderates the Just Books Too and Cos Cob Library evening groups and holds quarterly open meetings for anyone interested in starting or maintaining a club. “I’d never even been in a book club, but I was always a reader. If I go talk to a club, I just choose books that are selling well or books that I’ve read and liked, or I talk to them about books they’ve read before,” she explains. “It’s based on their interests and what I know. I just moderate, keep the discussion going, answer questions, but I’m not there to tell anyone what I think.”

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

    Meet the author of this powerful memoir. Joshua Safran is an author, attorney, occasional rabbi, and nationally recognized advocate for...

  • Markham Roberts: Decorating the Way I See It

    2014.11.13
     @ Belle Haven Club

    Join us as Interior Designer Markham Roberts shares coveted design insights, key to creating the perfect home. The program will include...


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