Literature Lovers of Lakeside… Enjoy Discussion & Activities Galore

Staff Blogger: Ellen Venema, Rhein Center Assistant Coordinator


In this month of highlighted relationships, we wrap up our celebration of National Library Lovers’ Month with a look at more of the opportunities for engaging in literary community during the summer season in Lakeside.

In addition to the Chautauqua Literary & Scientific Circle, there are many book-related activities happening on the grounds. Many of these are organized by the Lakeside Women’s Club (LWC) and The Fine Print bookstore.

Staff&Volunteers_Week_4_Patterson0234Lakeside Women’s Club

The Lakeside Women’s Club (LWC) has a home in Green Gables at 161 Walnut Ave. between Orchestra Hall and Central Park.

They have offered a lending library to the Lakeside community since 1941, recently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

“We don’t issue library cards, and anyone – men, women, children – may borrow books,” explains LWC President, Janet Jennings. “We use the old-style card pocket in the back of the book procedure. Our younger patrons who are used to checking out books electronically think this is ‘cool.’”

The lending collection is ever-evolving, as donated books are distributed to the library and the LWC’s Annual Book Sale. A variety of books, many newly-published, and a wonderful children’s selection grace their shelves.

“Last summer, with the help of some local teenagers, we un-dated and increased our teen selection,” offers Betsy Kennedy, current librarian of Green Gables.

The LWC library also keeps on hand any titles being read by their book discussion groups.

The Fine Print

The Fine Print bookstore opened in May 2011 on the corner of Second Street and Walnut Avenue, inspired by Lakesiders’ request for a local bookstore.

“We owe so much to Gretchen A. Curtis who encouraged us and gave us the confidence we needed to accept this challenge,” explain owners Bev Bartczak and Joan Price.

Books offered for sale include a thoughtfully-selected range of adult and children’s titles, often chosen based on requests or recommendations from Lakesiders of all ages.

The Fine Print stocks titles on the lists of many Lakeside book discussion groups and the Lakeside Young Readers’ Club. They also carry books published by visiting Chautauqua Lecture Series speakers and Preachers of the Week.

DSC_0038Children’s Activities

The Fine Print and the LWC, together with the Lakeside Leadership Academy’s Education Interns, are the highlight of many a child’s Chautauqua memories, offering programming that sparks imagination and builds confidence.

  • Fun with Books – for infants and preschoolers, Mondays at 9 a.m.
  • Where in the World – for ages 6-10, Mondays at 10 a.m., 2017 theme is “Celebrations!”
  • Story Time at the LWC – for ages 4-10, Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.
  • Weekly special events hosted by The Fine Print
  • Game Night – held on Walnut Avenue in front of The Fine Print, Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

In collaboration with the Lakeside Business Association, The Fine Print also plays a fun role in the acclimation of young families to Lakeside geography.

Each summer, new literary characters hide their friends and belongings all over Lakeside. Young Lakesiders love to participate in the scavenger hunt across the grounds to find them all. It’s a wonderful way to help young families learn the locations of all the different organizations and businesses of Lakeside.

This summer, we’ll be trekking Lakeside in search of literary favorites, Frog and Toad. 

DSCN1506For the Adults

The LWC and The Fine Print also engage book-loving Lakesiders with lively discussions and events. Women and men are welcome to join in book discussion groups, film viewings, author presentations and more.

  • LWC Annual Book Sale – first week of August in Green Gables
  • LWC “Breakfast Bunch” book discussion group – 8:15 a.m. in a private home
  • LWC “After Lunch Bunch” book discussion group – 1:30 p.m. every other Monday in Green Gables
  • LWC “Friday Book Reviews & Films” discussion group – 1:30 p.m. in Green Gables or Orchestra Hall

IMG_4641Working with Lakeside’s Education and Religious Life departments, The Fine Print and the LWC also bring authors to Lakeside for book signings and receptions. In recent years they’ve hosted Paula McLain, Thrity Umrigar and Regina Scott.         

But wait… there’s more!

We’ve only touched on a portion of the book-related locations, activities and organizations available to Lakeside locals and guests. Check the weekly Lakesider newspaper, Lakeside website and online calendar for information on the programming listed above and on many more groups and activities, and take a walk around the grounds to discover additional book borrowing and buying opportunities.

How will you explore the literary offerings in Lakeside this summer?

One Comment on “Literature Lovers of Lakeside… Enjoy Discussion & Activities Galore

  1. Thank you for doing such a great job on this three-part series, Ellen!

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