Celebrating Twenty Years of Book Club

This year is the 20th anniversary of the monthly book club I attend. We call ourselves R.E.A.D. (read, evaluate and discuss). When we began in January, 1994, none of us had any idea how big a part book club would come to play in our lives. We've built friendships with people we might never have known otherwise and those relationships now extend much further into our lives than just book club. We've been introduced to dozens of authors, some of whom are now the favourites of various members. And the books! We've read hundreds of books - some wonderful, some awful - and we've learned something of how to evaluate a book beyond liking or disliking it. For me, our book club meeting has become the highlight of the month.

When we were talking over various ideas for celebrating our twenty years together, we decided it would be fun to give something back. One of our members found the Dalit Freedom Network, an organization helping the Dalit people of India, who comprise one quarter of Indian's population.  They are the poorest of the poor, the untouchables. Here is a bit of information taken from the Dalit Freedom website:

"Dalits gained equal status under the law 60 years ago, but little has changed for them in daily life; they still face widespread discrimination. Dalits endure segregation in healthcare and housing, and are often forced to work in degrading conditions. Dalit children endure harassment from teachers and other students. Low literacy and high dropout rates are common for Dalits.

For a Dalit child and her family, education is the path to freedom. Attending a welcoming school and receiving an English education provides Dalit boys and girls with confidence, socioeconomic opportunities, and the potential to claim a place in society. Education gives Dalit children and their families the tools they need to break the cycle of discrimination and oppression." 

The goal of our fundraiser is to put a library in an elementary school for Dalit children. In November we rented a table at a university craft sale to sell used books and crafts, and we've made individual donations as well. The total cost of setting up the library will be $1500 and we are now very excited to be at $1093.30.

If you would like to learn more about the Dalits of India or make a donation to any aspect of their work you can do so at: 

If you would like to make a donation to our fundraiser and help us establish a library for Dalit children, you can do so at: 

Please take a few minutes, go to the website and learn a little about the Dalits of India. The more people who know, the more likely it is that things will change. And things must change.


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Happy Book Club anniversary!!! 20 years is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

What a great way to celebrate. Thanks for letting us know and giving others a chance to contribute.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of a 10 year book club and like you, have become friends with an interesting and eclectic group of women. We each have such diverse opinions on a book that it's fun when some of us don't like a book; it always makes for such a very interesting evening. Cheers to your 20th. :)

Ordinary Reader said...

Thanks! I think our best discussions are when some don't like the book. I find I come away from many of our meetings seeing aspects of a book in a totally different light. Seeing how other people respond to a
book is so much fun.

Team Bonding said...
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