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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow A Kuhl hand with book clubs

A Kuhl hand with book clubs

Betty Kuhl is featured in an article about book clubs in Friday's "American Profile" magazine, a supplement to the Baker City Herald. (Baker City Herald/Lisa Britton).
Betty Kuhl is featured in an article about book clubs in Friday's "American Profile" magazine, a supplement to the Baker City Herald. (Baker City Herald/Lisa Britton).

By LISA BRITTON

Of the Baker City Herald

Betty Kuhl's book club was going strong when she discovered a publication titled "The Book Group Book" by Ellen Slezak.

The book featured a compilation of submitted stories written about book groups around the country.

Kuhl read the book.

Near the end, the author welcomed submissions from other book clubs, so Kuhl decided to share the story of her group, the Literary Lunch Bunch.

"I wrote up a little story about it and sent it to her," she says.

The author called Kuhl and asked to publish the Lunch Bunch's story in the second edition of "The Book Group Book."

Kuhl said yes.

"(Slezak) sent me a book and $25," Kuhl laughs. "That was enough (money) to take the book club out to lunch."

Two years later Slezak called to ask if she could include the Lunch Bunch story in a third edition.

Kuhl agreed.

"That time all I got was a free book," she says.

Six months ago, Kuhl received a phone call from a freelance writer in Tennessee who was working on a story about book clubs.

It turned out that Slezak suggested Kuhl as a source for the story.

"I thought that was amazing, out of all the people in the book," Kuhl says.

The second edition of "The Book Group Book" features 37 stories from across the nation.

This Friday, Kuhl is featured in a story titled "Multiply Your Reading Pleasure with a Book Club" in "American Profile."

This national magazine supplement can be found in the weekend edition of the Baker City Herald, available on newsstands Friday through Sunday.

Two groups form, only one lasts

The Literary Lunch Bunch began nearly 30 years ago when the American Association of University Women organized two book groups.

"Two book clubs started: one was us older people and the other was young working girls," she says.

The younger group disbanded after a few years.

The "older" group lasted — due to similar interests and ages, Kuhl said.

Today, there are about six book groups in Baker City.

"And they all do it differently," Kuhl says.

The Lunch Bunch meets once a month at the home of a group member.

"We take sack lunches and then the hostess serves a dessert," Kuhl says.

The group chooses a different book to read each month, with genres covering fiction and nonfiction.

"I like biographies — those are really my favorite books," Kuhl says.

What's the best part of a book group? Kuhl says it's the chance to read without the guilt that there must be something else that needs to be done.

"It makes you feel like it's a part of your life you should schedule," Kuhl says.

Joining the book club also inspired Kuhl to help bring more books to Baker City — she opened Betty's Books in 1979 as an outgrowth of her book club activities.

To find out more about the book groups in Baker City, stop by Betty's Books, 1813 Main St., call the store at 523-7551, or ask at the Baker County Public Library.

 
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