February 2, 2023


A new program from the Kitchener Public Library (KPL) brings the book club to the pub.

PubLit, a book club that takes place outside of the library’s walls, is now being held at the Firkin at the Tannery. It is a book club unlike the rest.

“I have participated in a book club before but I didn’t last long,” said Ashley Egerdeen, a second-year nursing student at Conestoga College. “I didn’t like the books that were picked.”

PubLit doesn’t require participants to read specific books. The no-homework approach is one of the things that sets PubLit apart from the average book club. Participants are encouraged to bring in anything they’ve read over the past month.

Another aspect that makes PubLit different from the rest is the reading isn’t limited to just books or any one genre. Participants discuss books that range from young adult fiction to non-fiction and everything in between.

It also isn’t limited to just novels. People are encouraged to discuss any reading material, such as blogs or newspaper articles they’ve read.

“Consequently, we end up having free-flowing discussions about our reading lives, making the act of reading a shared, social experience,” said Sandra Taylor, who runs PubLit with fellow KPL librarian, Kristin Johnson-Perlock.

The meetings usually break up into smaller groups to discuss what they’ve been reading and then the groups are rotated partway through.

The laid-back atmosphere gives people the chance to discuss their books in a more intimate way. With a beer and casual conversations, attendees might find a new book to add to their reading list or hear feedback on one of their old favourites.

At the end of the evening, literary- and library-themed door prizes (such as gift certificates and book plates) are given to lucky participants.

Johnson-Perlock said she hopes that the participants will help shape the event as time goes on. The feedback has been enthusiastic and they hope to use this feedback for future plans.

“PubLit is the first program offered via KPL that falls under a new initiative to develop programming for people in their 20s and 30s,” said Johnson-Perlock. “We hope to build on the success of PubLit and develop new social programs for community members.”

PubLit is held on the last Tuesday of the month from now until June at the The Firkin at the Tannery pub. The pub is located at 121 Charles St. W. in downtown Kitchener. After a short break in the summer, they will resume meeting in the fall.

For more information about PubLit, check out KPL’s Facebook page or #PubLit on Twitter.

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