You don’t need Richard and Judy to set up a book club.
They might have made reading fashionable again, but some of us knew the value of a good book already.
Eileen Northall has enjoyed reading for years and wanted to share her love of books with other like-minded people.
She decided to set up a book club but wasn’t sure where to hold it.
Then a tea room opened in her village and the Vintage Parlour Reading Group was born.
Eileen, of The Pastures, Todwick, said: “I had wanted to start a book club for a while and then when the tea room opened I thought that would be perfect as a meeting place.”
“I advertised it and we had our first meeting in February.”
The book club members got their name because they meet in the parlour room at Granny’s Tea Room.
“It’s perfect for us because we can sit and have a tea or coffee and something to eat while we chat,” said Eileen.
The books don’t cost them any money either.
Eileen was advised by a friend running another book club to try the library.
“We can borrow a set of the same book each month, which is great because it means we don’t all have to go out and buy a different book every month,” said Eileen.
“They have a readers’ list of the books available for us to choose from. I pick them up from the mobile library which comes into the village.”
The members, who all live in Todwick, take it in turns to choose a book.
“It’s good because it means we get a variety of genres and I’m reading books which I never would have chosen myself,” said Marilyn White, of Kiveton Lane.
“And it’s informal and everyone’s opinion counts.”
Her favourite genre is crime drama, of the kind written by Patricia Cornwell.
Betty Williamson, of Osborne Road, said her favourite author was Catherine Alliott, who writes about humorous village life.
Joyce Ing, of Barber Close, said she liked John Le Carre spy novels.
She said: “It’s good to get other people’s opinions of a book.”
“Sometimes they see something different in a character than you do and make you see them in a different light.”
Granny’s Tea Room owners Lesley Taylor and Sally Goulty said they were delighted to welcome the reading club, and Lesley reads the books as well.
Sally said: “We really look forward to them coming in and hearing their lively conversation.”
A Rotherham Council spokesman said they were happy to supply multiple sets of books to groups and had more than 350 titles to choose from.
He said: “If you love reading and would like the opportunity to talk about books in an informal and friendly environment then we can help.”
The book club, currently reading Joanne Harris’s Blue-Eyed Boy, meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 11am and everyone is welcome. Call Eileen on 07801 281870 for more information.