Campus readers unite at Simpson Book Club

by Molly MishlerStaff Writer

For those who like to read in your spare time, the Simpson Book Club would like you to join them in the fun.

The book club meets the first Wednesday of every other month in Dirlam Lounge at noon. The next meeting is December 5th and the book they will be discussing is “Case Histories” by Kate Atkinson.

The following meeting will take place February and the book will be “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen.

“The book club is great for those who like to join with other avid readers and discuss books,” Serials Librarian Liz Grimsbo said.

The choice of books varies and is sometimes the “All Iowa Read” selection, a book the state of Iowa selects each year that they feel should be read by all. Other times, the choice is based on of the bestseller lists.

Starting in 2003, Secretary of Admissions Laura Johnson thought it would be good to start a book club on campus. Other faculty members have joined and have become regulars, including Grimsbo, Instruction Librarian Mary Peterson, and Pat Hicks, transportation manager and secretary of the Athletic Department.

“I very much enjoy the group,” Hicks said. “It gives me an opportunity to get out of the office and spend an hour with some other readers on campus.”

Hicks feels that being involved in the book club is a great way to read and discuss books that she normally wouldn’t have been drawn to.

“I have read books that I wouldn’t have chosen on my own, and many times found new authors of interest,” Hicks said. “Sometimes I [don’t] care for the book, which can make for more interesting discussion.”

Since the book club first started, Grimsbo and Peterson have been involved in deciding the book choice, meeting place, and the design of the Web site. Something new this year is that there will be a blog added to the Web site.

“I think the blog will be a great feature because it will be a way for those who weren’t able to attend the meeting to discuss the book online with others,” Grimsbo said.

They group would really like to see students attend the meetings.

“We’d really like to see students involved,” Peterson said. “It’s great to take a break from studies for some light reading.”

Hicks agrees with Peterson and would love it if more people could attend the gatherings.

“Our groups are usually small and I would like to encourage more people to attend,” Hicks said. “Even if you don’t get the book read, you can still enjoy the time together with other book lovers.”