Editor’s note: This story is part of the CDT’s Active Life special section.
Whether fiction is your cup of tea or nonfiction strikes your fancy, there’s something for all tastes in Centre County’s book club collection.
The book club at the Centre Region Active Adult Center meets on the third Wednesday of the month, through a partnership with Schlow Centre Region Library, said Cindy Stahlman, the center’s supervisor.
Karen Lambert, a librarian from Schlow who leads the club, is “really great,” Stahlman said, adding that she’ll bring large-print books or audio CDs if people need them.
And the people who participate “really look forward to it,” Stahlman said.
The folks who regularly attend the book club talk about the book throughout the month — how far they are, if they like it, she said. It gives them something in common to talk about.
Schlow library hosts two more book clubs for adults during the month — an evening group on the third Tuesday and a daytime group on the fourth Wednesday.
Amy Madison, an adult services librarian who leads the evening group, said they try to mix it up with fiction and nonfiction, even some young adult fiction.
“Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of the Young Women Who are Transforming the Arab World” was a book that really made an impact on Madison’s group, she said.
With everything going on in the world, Madison said the discussion was “pretty powerful.”
The groups’ facilitators begin the discussion by going around the table and asking for people’s initial thoughts, Madison said, before opening it up to a more free-flowing discussion.
And books are selected based on what the members want to read and what books the libraries have enough copies of, she said.
Over in Bellefonte, Jennifer Freed, the Centre County Library’s Bellefonte branch manager, said she loves how big the book clubs are getting.
With a daytime group that meets on the fourth Friday and an evening group on the third Wednesday, Freed said new people are always welcome to join.
The groups read different books, except in March when they read the Centre County Reads book, she said, which this month is “Under a Painted Sky.”
Set in 1845, it’s about two girls who, disguised as boys, set off on the Oregon Trail in search of freedom and family, according to the Centre County Reads website.
Pastor Brent Book, of Zion Lutheran Church, said he’s always trying to look for ways to engage people — and the church’s recently created book club is one of them.
It meets on the last Sunday of the month, though he said he’s not sure whether it will happen during the summer months with people’s varying schedules.
Book said the group is alternating between reading fiction and nonfiction, but all with a focus on faith — whether they challenge it or uplift it.
Sometimes the printed word isn’t the first place people go these days, Book said, so the group brings together a broad range of experience — those who read all the time and those who haven’t picked up a book in years.
Area book clubs
Location: Centre County Library, 200 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte
Time: 6:30 p.m. third Wednesday (evening group); 1 p.m. fourth Friday (daytime group)
Location: Zion Lutheran Church, 105 Old Boalsburg Road
Time: 7 p.m. last Sunday of the month
Info: 466-6061, call if interested in participating
Location: Centre Region Active Adult Center, No. 990, Nittany Mall, 2901 E. College Ave.
Time: 12:15 p.m. third Wednesday
Info: 231-3076; www.crpr.org/senior/sr-ctr-main.html
Location: Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen St.
Time: 6:30 p.m. third Tuesday (evening group); 2 p.m. fourth Wednesday (daytime group)
Info: 237-6236; www.schlowlibrary.org