If you’re a joiner and not an organizer, the Omaha area has volumes of book clubs for you.
The Bookworm, near 90th Street and West Center Road, has 16 in-store groups alone. It also helps a number of outside clubs that meet in homes or other locations. It orders books and offers 20% discounts to both types of groups, too.
“The (in-store) groups are open to anybody who wants to come,” said Janice Rhine, a bookseller who is the point person for the clubs.
Book clubs at The Bookworm cover a wide variety of genres: history, biography, novellas, all types of fiction and even one specifically devoted to Willa Cather.
There are two World War II book clubs, one that meets in the daytime and one in the evening, and three mystery clubs, because those books are so popular, Rhine said.
The pandemic has taken its toll on the groups. Right now, they have about 50 participants, half of their usual number before shutdowns and quarantines started.
But they soldier on. All were on Zoom at one point, but about half have come back to the store — 6 feet apart, of course.
“They are welcome to bring in treats,” Rhine said. “Tables and chairs and plenty of masks are available if anyone happens to forget one.”
The Bookworm also has a place for organizers as well as joiners. There isn’t currently a romance readers group, for instance.
“If someone is interested in getting the ball rolling with something like that we’d be happy to partner with them,” the bookseller said.
Book clubs add to the bottom line, but that’s not the only reason The Bookworm sponsors them, Rhine said.
“Anything that encourages readers is a win-win. It certainly helps us but we like to think it helps them too,” she said.
The Bookworm’s clubs:
American History, fourth Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. (on hiatus)
Amiable Adult Readers Discussing Books Almost Always Read by Kids (Aardbaark), second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. via Zoom.
As the Worm Turns, third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Biography, first Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. This group reads and discusses biographies of Americans whose reputation has withstood the test of time. (on hiatus)
Books and Bagels, second Sunday of each month at 11 a.m.
Cather and Friends, reads the work of Willa Cather, her contemporaries and fellow Nebraskans, fourth Thursday of each even-numbered month at 2 p.m. .
Crime Through Time, fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Droids and Dragons Book Club, reads science fiction and fantasy books, third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Killing Time, reads mysteries, first Monday of each month at 1 p.m.
Mysterious Readers Book Group, fourth Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday Bookworms Group, second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
What Are You Reading? (sharing of books by group participants), first Wednesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom.
World War II At Night, third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.
World War II Afternoon, fourth Monday of each month at 2 p.m.
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