PEKIN, Ill. () – The beginnings of the Next Chter Adult Book go far enough, the current broker is not entirely sure how long the club has existed.
“I know it’s been at least 15 years,” said Beth Bradford, head of information services at the Beijing Public Library.
Next Chter meets the first Monday of each month in a community room at the Beijing Public Library. Half of the group members meet at 14:00 and the other half meet at 18:30. Bradford selects a monthly book, usually a work of contemporary fiction, and members discuss it.
“Beth is an amazing leader because she complements the book with subject information or author information,” said Next Chter member Sue Meisner of Forest City. “So we have basic information that helps us better understand the material we’re going to discuss.”
Meisner added that she commutes 30 miles to attend Next Chter meetings because she loves being part of the readership community.
“It’s an oasis,” she said. “Mostly we read contemporary fiction and some non-fiction.” It challenges us. Our discussions about the books are stimulating and (club) encouraging. I don’t have too many friends who would like readers like me. “
Another member, Chter Connie Lenox of South Beijing, has been an avid reader since childhood and served in the South Beijing Library when the community still had a library. Left to her own devices, she does not believe she would read some of the books the group is discussing. However, she enjoyed all the books the library chose for Next Chter.
“The friendship of other readers leads to good conversations and good discussions,” Lenox said. “I would encourage people to come and try (Next Chter).”
Another of Chter’s latest projects was a discussion of Jeanine Cummins’ 2020 novel “American Dirt,” the story of a Mexican woman and her son fleeing drug cartels and fleeing to the United States as illegal immigrants. A member of Bonnie Dentino from Beijing enjoyed the fast pace of the book, but complained that it forced her to break the rule of personal reading.
“It’s the first book I’ve ever read where I cheated and looked at the back to make sure the (characters) could do it,” she said with a laugh.
According to Bradford, Next Chter currently has about 40 members. New members can always register at the public library in Beijing. Learn more at pekinpubliclibrary.org.
“This is the best taxpayer money distribution available anywhere,” Meisner said. “It’s free for the public and anyone can join this group.” It’s an amazing tribute to the Beijing Library that they are able to reach out and have such a program. “
Source: Pekin Daily Times, https://bit.ly/3dtHQlR