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

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     @ My Cooking Party

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  • YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week

    2014.10.18
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week October 18 - 26, 2014 Join us for a week-long celebration of local art! Showcasing established and emerging...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

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  • 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...

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    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

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    2014.10.25
     @ Greenwich Country Club

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  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

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    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

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    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

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    2014.10.26
     @ Wilton High School Field House

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    2014.10.26
     @ Island Beach Parking Lot

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  • La Soirée d’ Automne at Bistro Versailles

    2014.10.27
     @ Bistro Versailles and Patisserie

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  • Flower Power

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

  • Explore the Bruce Museum

    2014.10.28
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  • Educational Seminar - Effective Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills

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  • Meet Bestselling Author Ayelet Waldman

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  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

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  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

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  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

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