- Library Sponsored Book Groups -- 15-member limit; signup required. Librarians select the titles and lead discussions. Groups meet the 3rd Monday afternoon (James City County Library) or Tuesday evening (Williamsburg Library), except April, August, and December. Titles supplied by the Library become part of the Gab Bag collection. Call 259-4050 to find out more, or to get on the waiting list.
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club -- No limit on number of members, everyone is welcome to come. Group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7-9 at the James City County Library to discuss themes and specific books in the realm of speculative fiction. Group members read books in the chosen theme, and volunteer leaders talk about the highlights and characteristics of that theme. Visit and join their Yahoo Group for more information and upcoming themes.
- 2nd Tuesday Book Club -- 10-member limit. The group selects titles up to 3 months in advance, and individual members lead discussions. Sessions are held the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8 in Room B of the Williamsburg Library. Please contact Andrew Smith at 259-4050 for more information.
Williamsburg Regional Library has collected multiple copies of the following titles for use by reading groups. The books are packaged in a tote bag, and can be checked out for up to eight weeks. Many of the titles have questions and supplementary material to stimulate thoughtful discussion. Bags are available at both the Scotland Street and Croaker Road libraries. You may place a hold on the title you want and pick it up at the most convenient location. For a complete list of Gab Bag titles, click here.
The purchase of the initial nine titles was made possible through a grant from the Friends of the Library to support library-sponsored book groups. Since then, support has come from Jane and Robert McGaw, the Williamsburg Community Trust, and the Gladys and Franklin Clark Foundation. By sharing these group resources with community readers, the Gab Bags program extends the success of those grants.
If you have any questions about the program, or would like to learn about other book group resources available through the Williamsburg Regional Library, please contact Andrew Smith, Readers Services Librarian, or call 259-4050.
Book Discussion Questions
Many publishers are now making reading group guides available over the Internet. The links below will take you to these publishers' sites .
- Ballantine Readers' Circle The readers' guides include author interviews and discussion questions for titles published under Random House's Ballantine imprint.
- Book Group Corner This site offers reading companions to books and authors published under the Bantam, Dell, Doubleday and Broadway imprints of Random House. The companions provide descriptions of the authors' works and suggeested questions for book group discussion leaders.
- Hachette Group Reading Guides Discussion questions for titles published by the Hachette Group
- Macmillan Reading Guides Plot summaries and discussion questions for titles published byvarious imprints of Macmillan.
- W.W. Norton Reading Group Guides Guides for titles published by W.W. Norton and Company.
- Random House Reading Group Center Random House offers reading guides to titles published by Vintage Books, as well as lists of recommended titles and information for book discussion leaders.
- Reading Group Choices The Reading Group Choices site provides information on starting a book discussion group, suggestions for discussion leaders, and most importantly, a searchable database of book group discussion guides. The database includes phone numbers and web sites for publishers' reading group guides.
- Reading Group Guides A collaboration between publishers and reading group consultants to provide questions and resources for book discussions.
- Simon and Schuster Reading Guides Links to discussion questions on titles published by Simon and Schuster.