Crow & Co. is starting two book clubs — LGBTQ+ and banned books. The Banned Books Club meets for the first time on Saturday.
Banned books have been a topic of interest to readers for years, so for Crow & Co. owner Sara Crow adding the reading group felt natural.
Last year, Crow began two other book clubs, including the Monster of the Month Book Club and the Dirty Hands Book Club. For Dirty Hands, she partnered with the Hutchinson Art Center to create the reading circle focused on art and art practices.
Monster of the Month includes horror-themed books with genres from monsters to science fiction thrillers.
Dirty Hands Book Club meets twice each month, on the second Saturday of every month at the Hutchinson Art Center and again on the fourth Thursday at Crow & Co. Monster of the Month Book Club meets every fourth Tuesday of the month.
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Discussing literature on banned book lists
Crow said her employee, Elaine Carter, approached her to create a reading group for banned books. The first title, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, was on the American Library Association’s top 10 list for most challenged books in 2008.
Hosseini’s book focuses on the life of a man from Afghanistan. Because of the conflicts in the region, Crow said, many libraries and book stores took it off the shelves.
“Kite Runner is actually still one of the most challenged and banned books,” she said.
Carter, Crow’s employee, began the book club after learning that Tennessee school districts banned Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” from schools.
“One of my big issues with banned books, in particular, is that they just don’t get read. So people make decisions about them without reading them,” Crow said.
The Banned Books Club begins its first session this Saturday at 5:30 pm and continues on the third Saturday of every month.
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LGBTQ+ Book Club ahead for Crow & Co.
A new reading circle Crow plans to introduce is the LGBTQ+ Book Club, created by her employee Veda Monsur. She hopes it will act as a book club and support group for those in the LGBTQ community.
The book store provided LGBTQ support groups before COVID-19 quarantine procedures shut down meeting spaces, so Monsur decided to approach Crow with the idea for a book club.
“Having the book club for people and a space to talk and ask questions about things and share their experiences with someone else is another essential aspect for this reading circle,” Crow said.
Crow said she hopes the reading groups will create a sense of community and openness for those who participate.
She believes discussions about literature can help expand the experiences one might not encounter on their own.
“It’s a matter of exposing people to trying things and going different places with their experiences,” Crow said.