Central Library’s BookCafé is a regular, women-only, shared reading group. Each month (on a Wednesday, 1 to 2pm) a short story by a woman writer is read out whilst the group drink tea and coffee or eat their lunch, then chat about whatever themes the story offers. There is no preparation required, no homework and no pressure to speak. The BookCafé is a welcoming and thriving group initially set up by the Glasgow Women’s Library at Central Library and is continued by staff member Sarah and volunteer Ro.
The intention of the group is to share writing from worldwide authors to find connections within women’s experiences – we have more in common than divides us – and introduce new writers to our group.
Sarah and Ro tell us that despite the lingering winter, the BookCafé has continued to thrive, bringing quality literature to this ever popular lunchtime group. With only a couple more dates left in the BookCafé calendar before the summer break they thought it was time to have a wee catch-up with this year’s readings and share some of their plans for the future.
“Since September the group has looked at traditional storytelling forms (some of which had very dark themes), more modern magical realism with respectful nods back to that tradition, and stories from other countries with familiar themes and emotions. We’ve had spooky stories, humorous stories, heart-warming stories and inadvertently topical stories. Authors have included Muriel Spark, Sophie Kinsella, Catherine Lim, Sarah Dyer, Alissa Nutting, Tove Jansson and Andrea Levy. Despite the diverse nature of the settings, we found women’s experiences to be similar or familiar at the very least, across time, age and geography, and it’s a joy to discuss the connections our members find with the texts.
We’ve had a couple of exciting meetings planning the group into next year. We’ve ordered some cracking anthologies from worldwide writers, looked into author visits, discussed non-fiction in the form of poetry and articles, and hope to set up a ‘BookCafé Recommends’ display in the library”.
Join them for the next sessions on 16 May and 20 June in the George Washington Browne Room at Central Library. Book your place if you can (so they know how many cups for coffee/tea to have ready) or just turn up. They look forward to welcoming you and discussing whatever the text brings to your experiences.
The BookCafé will then break for the summer and return in September 2018.