A low-lit pub with blaring music is not the first place you would think to find a book club.
However, PubLit, a new program from the Kitchener Public Library, breaks all boundaries when it comes to approaching the classic book group. It offers not only an environment full of vitality and camaraderie, but it opens the floor to discussion of not just one novel but any novel you have recently read that you want to share.
Kristin Johnson-Perlock and Sandra Taylor, both librarians with Kitchener Public Library, wanted to pull together an event that drew in the young professionals populating Waterloo Region.
“We are working on an initiative to develop programming for people in their twenties and thirties, but really it’s open to anybody,” said Johnson-Perlock. “We are trying out some less traditional library programming. An important element we want to include is the social side.”
The pair decided to create a space free from form and rules, in the hopes that this would encourage more people to come and share their thoughts on reading and books. They are hoping to inspire those individuals who may otherwise shy aware from a structured, formatted flow — which would hold people back from reading for pleasure.
About 16 people attended the inaugural PubLit night, surpassing expectations for the introduction of this new event. There was a continuous conversation, and several unique or unconventional books on the table were then picked up or their titles written down for later reading.
From historical fiction, to young adult, to graphic novels, to a book of essays — there was enough selection to stimulate a spirited discussion, including a debate over whether, if you turn to page 42 of any book and read it, you’ll know if you like it or not. Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, did write that the number 42 was the “answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe, and everything.”
Taylor hopes that PubLit will help the Kitchener Public Library develop more social programming, as well as partnerships outside the library.
The next PubLit is scheduled to take place February 25, 7 pm at the Firkin at the Tannery. Bring anything you have recently read — whether a book, news article, or blog post — and be ready to engage in lively conversation over a glass of wine or your favourite local brew.