There was an interesting discussion on Facebook last month during which it emerged that (1) many Fairfield residents would quite like to join a book club, (2) only a very select few Fairfield residents were aware of the (at least) two book clubs that already existed, (3) neither of those existing book clubs showed up in a Facebook search on the words ‘Fairfield’ and ‘book club’, and (4) creating a book club in Fairfield that did show up in a search on the words ‘Fairfield’ and ‘book club’ might ruffle a few feathers as there was already an established book club in Fairfield with almost that name, which just happened to not be on Facebook. In case you missed it, or are still confused, here is our guide to all three (that we know of) book clubs now active in Fairfield.
The original FAIRFIELD BOOK GROUP (set up six years ago as part of the Letchworth Arts and Leisure Group – and, for the record, top of Google’s listings for the search term ‘Fairfield book club’, but nowhere to be found on Facebook) used to advertise their meeting dates and book choices in FM every month, but since we stopped publishing event listings during the pandemic, they have been a little less visible. However, they have definitely not gone away, and after a stint on Zoom they are now meeting again in person. You can find them at the Fairfield Bowls Club on the first Thursday of each month from 7.30pm (refreshments from 7.15pm) – but please email first if you’re new. Up for discussion on Thursday 7 October is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Unlike the other book groups, this one has an agreement with Letchworth Library which allows books to be borrowed rather than bought. A contribution of £2 per month covers venue hire and books. This group has a healthy membership of 20 already, but if you would like to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second group, BOOKS AND BUBBLES, was set up by a small group of friends three years ago (back when bubbles still meant something fun) and has gradually drawn in friends of friends. They now also have almost 20 members and would prefer to keep their membership around its current level – finding that they average 10–12 people per session, which is just about perfect for keeping the discussion flowing. Books and Bubbles used to meet in the Orchard restaurant on the second Monday of the month until April 2020, then went online during the pandemic. They’re back to face-to-face meetings now, but since their previous ‘in person’ meeting place is no longer available they have moved to Fairfield Community Hall. We’re not sharing contact details for this group, but if you know someone who’s in it and feel that it’s a good fit for you, it’s always worth asking if they have space for a new member.
The newest group was formed on the back of that aforementioned Facebook discussion and tentatively called the FAIRFIELD BOOK CLUB (although that could still change following a plea from the Fairfield Book Group). They met for the first time on 2 September – like their almost-name-twin, they have chosen the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm as their meeting time. A permanent venue has not yet been decided, but it will definitely not be the Fairfield Bowls Club! This group has chosen The North Water by Ian McGuire as its first book, to be discussed on Thursday 7 October. As a new group they positively welcome new members, and they can be found on Facebook by searching for ‘Fairfield book club’ – or following this link.
So there you have it. Plenty of book clubs for everyone, and not quite all meeting at the same time. Have we missed any? If you are a member of a Fairfield-based book club not mentioned here, drop us a line and we’ll be sure to feature you next month!