Loving books for half a century

Launceston Book Group Two celebrates 50 years of reading together

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Toni Lord, Jean Welch, Kate Waining, Lesley Anderson, Pam Saville, Rosemary Dixon, Di Edwards, Sue Rolf, Mary Hutchinson, Trish McColl, Onie Ricketts still meet for their book club after 50 years. Photo: Phillip Biggs

Toni Lord, Jean Welch, Kate Waining, Lesley Anderson, Pam Saville, Rosemary Dixon, Di Edwards, Sue Rolf, Mary Hutchinson, Trish McColl, Onie Ricketts still meet for their book club after 50 years. Photo: Phillip Biggs

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The club was started as a way to interact with other adults.

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A Launceston club has celebrated a page-turning milestone, reaching 50 years of exploring worlds and sharing stories.

Launceston Book Group Two was started half a century ago when the founding members had young children and were looking for a way to enjoy some adult time.

People from the city and surrounding suburbs such as Trevallyn, Norwood and Relbia joined the club and were assisted by adult education at the library.

"I guess we were probably looking for a bit of mental stimulus," members Ro Dixon and Kate Waining said.

"It's good as you get older to continue to read and it certainly encouraged us to read books we wouldn't have individually read."

The book club has five of the original members, but there are more who also attend the monthly meeting. The location changes depending on the member leading the event.

"We enjoy [catching up], but we also feel it's important to keep reading and read a variety of works," Ms Dixon and Ms Waining said.

"We have taken it quite seriously and we do meet to discuss a book."

Books have previously been chosen from a catalogue supplied by adult education. However, there has always been a broad selection for members to choose their next pick from.

The club held an anniversary event with cake on January 26.

"We are now the oldest group as group one has disbanded. We think it's a pretty amazing achievement and we are all quite excited about it," Ms Dixon and Ms Waining said.

"The fact that we have been going for 50 years might encourage young people who are readers to start [a club] of their own."

Though the club started meeting on evenings with a glass of sherry in hand, later in life meetings have turned to afternoons full of cake and tea.

When asked what books they have read that have been a favourite or stand out, neither Ms Dixon or Ms Waining could pick.

The club think they have read more than 500 books over the time the group have been meeting.

For those interested in potentially creating their own reading or book groups, new groups can be registered through Libraries Tasmania.

Those groups will have access to titles available through the library catalogue on the website.

This story first appeared on the Launceston Examiner.

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