• Book club brings readers together

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of articles about informal groups or clubs in the Fort Leavenworth community.
    “Did anybody else hate Bert?” asked Zoe Cooper during the Main Post Book Babes’ book discussion on “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett March 28 in the Fort Leavenworth Frontier Housing Communities Community Center.
    “Commonwealth” was the sixth book for the club since Laura Draves began leading the group in October 2017.
    “What happened was there was already a Main Post Book Club and the person who used to run it took a job and asked if anyone would take over the book club,” Draves said. “So, I just took it over. She didn’t have a page so I made the Facebook page myself and I mostly just wanted to be in a book club.”
    Several of the members said they liked the book.
    “It was an easy read,” said Stephanie Hixson. “I just kind of liked how the stories intertwined and seeing how the characters ended up.”
    Club member Karen Foreman said she enjoyed the book.
    “I liked how (the author) explored the relationships and what happened in their childhood and how their lives developed in adulthood,” she said, “how it connected from one event to the next.”
    Cooper said she enjoyed the character development.
    “It was really, really well done,” she said. “A couple characters that were in the beginning, I hated them as much as other people did and then I realized, wait, that’s wrong.”
    However, not everyone had high opinions of the book.
    “It was a little rough for me,” said club member Lisa Sweet. “I read it and it drew me in, but I really need books that have a culmination and some sort of purpose that’s very distinct. It was a lot of jumping around, which I appreciate, but I prefer a different kind of style which is more of a linear way of telling a story.”
    Sweet said differing opinions is why she likes being in a book club.
    “You get different opinions and perspectives in a book that you didn’t necessarily like (and) you might end up liking more once you think ‘oh, I didn’t think about it in that point of view,’” she said.
    Sweet’s love of conversation about novels and getting the differing opinions goes back to her days in college as an English major, she said.
    “People are talking about something passionately, whether they hated it or loved it and they’re here for the same purpose,” she said. “I work in book publishing so I just always like to read and I like being able to sit in a room with people and talk about a book.”
    Page 2 of 3 - When joining a book club, the fact that a person likes to read is inevitable as all the members agreed, but it was how it enhanced the love that made them want to join.
    “It exposes you to books that you wouldn’t necessarily read,” said Lindsay Ramspott. “This isn’t a book I would’ve picked up off the shelf and decided to read on my own, but I liked it. Same with a couple other books we’ve read. It’s broadened my types of books that I would be interested to read.”
    Cooper said it brings her out of her comfort zone.
    “I’m a raging introvert,” she said. “I have to make myself join something when we move to a new place so that I don’t isolate myself in my house, which I could very easily do.”
    Ramspott said she was looking for the social aspect the club would bring.
    “I like to read and I wanted to meet people,” she said. “We just moved here so it’s an easy way to meet people who also like to read.”
    Foreman said the group makes for an easier way to make friends.
    “It’s quite hard to make friends as an adult and ordinarily you make friends through your children,” she said. “I love reading so it’s through a hobby and like-minded interests that you’re making friends.”
    Club member Kerum Steele said she wanted the challenge.
    “I wanted to be challenged to read more frequently than what I would have not in a group,” she said. “It challenges you to read a book that you normally wouldn’t read and then think about some underlying themes that you wouldn’t normally do just reading for pleasure.”
    The Main Post Book Babes is open to anyone living in Main Post, and club members said they encourage others to join.
    “It’s the easiest club to join because you don’t need any talent other than to read,” Foreman said. “If it was a sports club, you’d wonder about your ability, whereas with this, you literally can sit on the sidelines, you can nod, you can agree. It’s really non-threatening. It’s the perfect club to join.”
    Cooper said it is a good group for introverts like herself.
    “They might find that they are actually surrounded by a room full of fellow introverts. I would say half the people here are introverts,” she said. “However, our behavior here becomes extroverted because we’re safe and we’re comfortable.”
    Page 3 of 3 - Ramspott said a book club makes a nice icebreaker for meeting new people.
    “It’s nice because when you’re reading a book, you have something to talk about,” she said. “You can add to something if you don’t know people and it’s a nice conversation breaker. That way there is a common ground.”
    The next meeting of the Main Post Book Babes is April 18. For place and time, request to join the Facebook group. The book for April is “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.
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