One of the wonderful things about books is that despite being a solitary activity in the main they can bring you together with other people. This can be through book groups, be they ones you start or ones you join at the library etc, through blogs and forums or random chats in a bookshop or on public transport. Today Gran, who I saw yesterday, has asked me if I would dedicate a post to one of her dear friends, and fellow book lovers, Jane. Here is why…
Ten years ago I attended a book event in my local small library in our small town. Sitting next to me was a young woman almost twenty years my junior. She was called Jane Kelman. With our shared interest in literature Jane and I had plenty to talk about. We both felt that our town lacked a book group, so we decided to set our own one up.
Our library offered to do all they could to help us and they did. Subsequently Jane and I spent happy hours researching a venue for the group. In the end we found an absolute gem. A lively ‘unconverted’ local pub offered us the use of one of their upstairs rooms free of charge. We decided it was ideal.
I think something like twenty five people turned up for our first meeting. Over the years membership has waxed and waned and now stands at around a regular twelve, what I consider being an ideal number for a book group. The first book we read was ’Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett, I loved it but not everybody shared my views, our latest choice is ‘Fathers and Sons’ by Ivan Turgenev. We have read many, and varying, books over the years. I suspect, as with many book groups, our discussions have often diverted away from the book in question to other interesting topics.
Despite the occasional fierce argument the atmosphere has always remained really friendly. There are still six founder members left one of them being Jim, our solitary male, who has never wavered in his loyalty to the group even though from time to time he is opposed by a ‘monstrous regiment’.
Unfortunately thought, within a few years of starting up the group my co-founder Jane became ill and after a relatively short illness sadly passed away.
Jane was always a warm, caring, loving friend and a devoted wife and mother. She was also a real lover of literature. She has been sorely missed in our group. So because of all she did in starting the group and because of the truly lovely person Jane was, I asked Simon if he would dedicate a post on this blog to Jane on what is our ten year anniversary. So here’s to Jane.
Dorothy aka Granny Savidge Reads.