Thursday, 19 November 2015

Virtual meets reality

I joined the latest 'real' Devon Book Club event at the weekend in Crediton. Deliciously entitled, The Indie Bookshop and Cake Crawl, it's the fourth one which has taken place since the idea took shape earlier in the year.

The original concept for the Devon Book Club was that the club be a virtual one, where people could join via the readers website Goodreads, to share books and chat over the internet. But it has now taken on an additional dimension when one member asked the club's founder, Ian Hobbs, "so, where do you meet?"

Ian's immediate response was "online!" But then he thought, why not do both? Now at regular intervals, authors and readers meet together to talk books and eat cake (and a cuppa too, of course - we are in England, after all).

On a wet and grey Saturday morning we met, initially, in Crediton Library where we learned a little about the new initiative for Devon's libraries - that of the creation of Libraries Unlimited, a mutual 'not-for-profit' organisation which comes into being from April 2016 to run Devon's libraries instead of Devon County Council.  Under the new arrangements, the mutual will be eligible to access grants and other funding options and, as a charity, will also benefit from changes to their tax status, That can only be good news if there's more money available for buying books! You can read more about the new arrangements, along with the team's enthusiasm for the future,  HERE.

Then it was time to meet the four guest authors, Kathy Shuker, Virginia Baily, Elizabeth Ducie and Michael Jecks . Each gave a short speech about themselves and their writing, before we donned our coats and headed off in the rain, with Andrew Davey, from Crediton Community Bookshop, acting as 'Pied Piper' as we trooped up the high street to the bookshop proper for coffee, cake and good old natter.

It was a very enjoyable way to throw a bit of sunshine on what would otherwise have been a very dreary day!


If you live or work in Devon, or even if you simply love the county, why not pop over to the Devon Book Club Facebook page or Goodreads group page and join us. Then, having got 'virtually' involved, next time we have a Bookshop and Cake Crawl, you might be able to join us for real!