Book Clubs: Something for Everyone at the Haymarket Gainesville Library

If you happen to pop into the library on any given day, you are likely to find a few moms or dads juggling a stack of books along with their children. If it’s after story time you definitely will see this. Our Youth Services department does an awesome job offering fun programs and story times, but did you know that the Haymarket Gainesville Library also offers awesome programs for our adults? Yes, you read that correctly. We have fun classes and programs just for adults.

One of our more popular programs are our book clubs. We currently have five different clubs that vary in genre. Whether you love history or enjoy young adult (YA) books, there is a book club for you. Our newest addition is “Rhyme and Reason” which began in January.

“Rhyme and Reason” is perfect for those adults, regardless of experience level, interested in exploring different poets and themes. Whether you want to expand your knowledge of poetry or have been reading it all your life, this club is for you. Come enjoy wonderful words while meeting other people that share a common interest. Hannah Axt is also leading this club along with Leigh Giza, who is a Library Services Technician (LST) III who has worked for Prince William Public Library System (PWPLS) for 10 years. She has a strong interest in poetry and writes her own poems in her spare time. Each month has a predetermined theme allowing members to choose poems to focus and discuss. “Rhyme and Reason” meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. in the Haymarket Gainesville community room. Stop by the circulation desk to pick up the themes for each month.

“Better Read than Dead” is for those who love history, biographies, and memoirs. Martha Scott, the book club organizer, began this club to cover topics and books that usually aren’t book club material. She also wanted to offer her club in the evening for those adults who work. Martha has volunteered and worked in school libraries since 1994. She began with PWPLS first as a volunteer in 2008 and then began working at Haymarket Gainesville Library as a LST I in 2015. She’s no stranger to book clubs, having run a few before she began working here in Virginia and when she lived in Monterey, California. “Better Read than Dead” meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

“Great Beginnings,” Haymarket Gainesville Library’s very first book club, celebrated its second year in February, 2018. This club is for adults who love to read a variety of nonfiction and fiction with members voting on titles each month. Games, book swaps, and potlucks are fun enhancements to the book discussions. In January, 2018, bestselling author Art Taylor visited the book club in person, while other authors have Skyped with the group. Wendy Andes is the organizer. She was a volunteer at the Gainesville Neighborhood Library in 2005, then was hired and worked at Bull Run Regional Library as a LST I, then transferred to Haymarket Gainesville Library when it opened in 2015 where she was promoted to a LST III. “Great Beginnings” meets the second Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m.

“Pardon My Youth” is for adults who love reading young adult fiction. There has been a steady increase of adults reading YA over the years. Jeanine Raghunathan is one of them, along with many of her friends. She enjoys the many different topics and genres that authors are exploring in their YA novels while appreciating the depth of their writing. Jeanine received her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 2001 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She is currently a LST III, but has worked in just about every library department over the years. “Pardon My Youth” meets the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. At the Monday, April 9 meeting, YA author Christina June will be meeting with the group to discuss her book It Started with Goodbye. All adults and teens are invited to this event.

All of our book clubs are open to all adults and you can join at any time. There is bound to be a book club that’s right for you. So stop in and check out what your library has to offer. You’ll find that we are more, actually a lot more, than just storytimes. For a full list of book clubs across the Prince William Public Library System, visit We even have “Books to Go” kits if you want to start your own club.

About the Author: Melinda Casilli is a Library Services Technician at the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library.  She received her Bachelor of Arts from Point Park University. Melinda is an avid reader and loves to cook. She lives in Gainesville with her husband and three girls.

Prince William Public Library Staff
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For more information on the Prince William County Public Library, please visit their website or call 703-792-6000.

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