A year and a half ago Laura Getty was looking to join a book club in South Baltimore but instead ended up starting her own. Today, the SoBo Book Club has a Facebook Group with 170 members and about 50 monthly participants. SouthBMore.com caught up with Getty to learn about this club and how it came to be.
How did the SoBo Book Club get started?
SoBo Book Club started with a simple post in the South Baltimore Community Facebook group. About a year and a half ago, I asked if anyone had a book club in the neighborhood that I could join, and I ended up receiving private messages from 60 people who were also interested in joining a book club. There was an obvious void in SoBo so I collected everyone’s contact information, sent out an email, and the SoBo Book Club was born!
When and where does the SoBo Book Club meet?
We meet monthly, and offer four different sessions: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 7pm, or Sunday morning brunch. The club is designed so that if you can’t make a certain session one month, you can go to one of the other sessions and fit right in. Each group meets at a restaurant in SoBo to support local businesses. We start our meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.
What type of books do you read and how do you decide?
Each of the four sessions rotates choosing the book for the next month. For example, Tuesday night will decide which book the entire club will read the next month, and the following month, Wednesday will choose. Whatever session you attend, you can suggest book options and vote. Traditionally, we have read mostly fiction, but there are no rules!
What are the discussions like?
Depending on the book, discussions are usually pretty tame and respectful, but everyone has varying opinions based on their own experiences. Certain members will relate to one character and not another, and it is fascinating for everyone to share their point of view. We usually spend time discussing the book, but also make time to catch-up on our personal lives.
What are the social aspects of the SoBo Book Club?
SoBo Book Club provides the opportunity to meet in a social setting, enjoy good food and drinks, converse about an interesting book, and most importantly, make new friends! In addition to our monthly meetings, we also have quarterly events. We’ve hosted happy hours, attended book festivals in the city, and gone to see movies based on books that we’ve read. Many people have forged lifelong friendships that now extend outside book club.
How can neighbors join?
Anyone is welcome by joining The Official South Baltimore Book Club group on Facebook. We post the monthly and quarterly events on this page.