Come Read a Book with Us!
Social Spotlight is a monthly feature within Momentum where we share details about some of the Social groups meeting within our Prime Timers chapter. The intent here is to encourage members to find and join activities of interest to them. This month’s Social Spotlight is on the Prime Timers Book Club.
This group is really in its infancy, with meetings having been small informal gatherings to date. The Prime Timers Book Club was initiated by several PT members who were attending the larger Northwest Austin Book Club. Those individuals decided it would be nice to form our own book club, as a means to help round out the social group offerings of the Austin Prime Timers as a chapter. The literary interest of some of the current members includes having authored books of their own at some point in the past. Of course, you don’t need credentials as an author to join in the fun!
The discussion is an opportunity to come together with other individuals who have had read the book, and who similarly desire to carry that experience forward, by sharing impressions and exchanging ideas. The discussion group commences with members openly seating themselves within a circle of eight to ten chairs. As with any book club, the discussion
commonly centers on the analysis of the selected book’s theme, thoughts on the overall message intended by the author, as well as perceptions about the behaviors of individual characters from the work.
Participants speak to whatever their thoughts and impressions are from their reading. Sometimes there is common agreement, while at others times there are differing opinions about some aspect of the material. Strong opinions may be expressed; occasionally, a lively debate will even ensue, as a difference of opinion is always welcome here. Most guys
bring the book to the meeting, in case there is a need to reference some point being made during the discussion.
The Prime Timers Book Club has no recurring meeting schedule at this time; instead, the group schedules upcoming sessions based upon active members’ feedback. When Book Club gatherings are staged, the group currently meets at Book People on Lamar at 6th Street, and generally piggy-backs off the meeting schedule of the Prime Timers Saturday Morning Koffee Klatsch gathering at that same location. When the Koffee Klatsch winds down (typically around noon), the Book Club members in attendance then retreat to have their own subsequent gathering in a private meeting room on the third floor at Book People. While most Book Club members also attend the Koffee Klatsch, other PT members are welcome to be more selective, to suit their own interests and schedule.
The Book Club meeting normally lasts for only about an hour; however, there is actually no pre-determined time limit set for the discussion. The gathering simply disperses, whenever the discussion seems to be winding down.
Most meetings to date have included only around a half dozen attendees. Other PT Austin members have expressed interest in joining the book club, and the group is certainly welcoming of anyone wanting to participate on either a regular or infrequent basis. Members are encouraged to invite others to participate, whether those individuals are Prime
Time members or not. The group’s discussions are open to anyone who wants to attend; however, obviously, one’s ability to participate in the discussion is greatly dependent upon having read the book in advance.
At the end of each meeting, the team considers book nominations for future discussions. Anyone within the group is welcome to recommend a book for the group to read. Members usually are given three to four weeks to acquire and read the book. Most selections are available at Book People or Amazon Books. On the club’s upcoming reading list are:
1) Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight by Loren Olson, MD; 2) Hide, a novel by Matthew Griffin; 3) Queer Aging by Jesus Ramirez Valles; and 4) Another Country by James Baldwin. To date, most of the books selected have been gay themed, although that is not an explicit requirement for book selection.
The process of selecting a book for discussion within the group is currently under review. The team has a meeting planned for late April, in an effort to put a more formalized structure around how to better organize the
activity. Members anticipate having a future plan for announcing books on the reading list sooner, so that PT members can plan ahead to have read the book on time The group will also be considering a plan as to how to address both fiction and non-fiction selections, as well as determining how books are nominated and finally selected for discussion by
To join the Prime Timers Book Club or for further information about the group, please contact Charles Curry at firstname.lastname@example.org.