To the Editor:

October is National Reading Group Month and an excellent time to make the public aware of the number and variety of reading groups and where they hold their meetings.  As Chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, I would like to invite newcomers to try one of the many book clubs that meet regularly and offer an exchange of ideas and debate as well as entertainment and excitement, all within our Monmouth Count y library system

It is estimated that there are more than five million book clubs and reading groups currently active around the world. More studies show that group reading also encourages participants to become independent readers and advance skills necessary to develop and expand reading skills. 

Reading is the best thing we can do for ourselves and each other. Group reading encourages social interaction and  stimulates interest in other areas, including museums, volunteerism, and different forms of recreation. Reading is relaxation, stress relief, and comfort food for the brain.

The Monmouth County Headquarters Library and its branches throughout Monmouth County offers a variety of book clubs, some with special interest such as mysteries, even, as at Headquarters, a Russian Book Club where Oct. 25 discussion is entirely in the Russian language. Our libraries offer talks by local authors, talks on health issues, and discussions on everything in popular books from  American Royalty in castles to an innocent convict pardoned from death in the electric chair after 30 years of incarceration.     In celebration of the month, the Headquarters Library is  staging a Book Club Festival Oct. 17 with famous authors making presentations both in person and by skype, providing an exciting and stimulating day for members of all reading groups and their guests.       

I would encourage everyone to visit, visit the Book Festival, or stop in at the library closest to home and see what the library offers, what book clubs are available and when they are meeting. It isn’t necessary to join, but it’s fun to stop in and see whether membership in a book club would add to your quality of life.



Renee B Swartz, Chair

Monmouth County Library Commission

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...