Every third Friday of the month the Friends of the Library Association hosts its Book and Coffee series at the Craigmiles-Johnston House History Branch of the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library.
“This is one of the most unique experiences in the entire town,” said FOLA member Meg Campbell. “It’s a place that offers relaxation, lets you listen to different perspectives and introduces you to new authors.”
The series runs once a month every month but December, and covers a variety of genres and authors.
According to Campbell the group has looked at works dealing with everything from comedy to horror.
“We are really diverse in who attends and what we cover. The whole thing works better with different voices and viewpoints,” said Rita Cannon.
Both Cannon and Campbell stressed that those attending do not need to read the book. The series is an opportunity to hear a review of a book, and see if it sounds interesting.
“Our effort is more to generate interest in whatever book we are hearing a review for and broaden people’s reading list,” said Campbell.
Those attending the series have heard from various local authors about their works via phone and computer interviews.
The pair said they are always looking for more reviewers, and they generate lists one year at a time. Those interested in reviewing a work can contact the library.
The group’s attendance can range anywhere from 5 to 40 depending on the book being reviewed and what else is going on in the community.
When asked about the fluctuations in attendance Campbell responded, “We don’t let anything bother us. We were once told that, ‘Those who are here are supposed to be here,’ and we are going to enjoy our time with anyone who decides to come through those doors,” said Campbell.
Both Campbell and Cannon explained that they would love more people to attend, and that it is one of the best kept secrets in Cleveland.
FOLA provides coffee for all those in attendance. There is no obligation to attend a review and no cost. Each review lasts roughly about an hour.