Warrenton book club let's its readers travel the world

By Jason Koch, Editor
Posted 1/8/23

The Literary Travelers book club at the Warrenton, MO, Scenic Regional Library focuses on stories set in different countries.

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Warrenton book club let's its readers travel the world


Not even the first snow of the winter could stop a group of six Warrenton residents from traveling to France.

“You get to travel without the trip!” said Warrenton Scenic Regional Library Branch Manager Robin Schaefferkoetter said.

Schaefferkoetter was leading the Literary Traveler book club at the library, one of two such groups at the Warrenton library. This one meets during the day.

“It appeals to a different audience,” Schaefferkoetter said.

The group usually meets the fourth Wednesday of the month to discuss a book where the story happens, usually in a foreign country.

At the group’s meeting in December, they discussed “The Seamstress” by Allison Pittman. The story “breathes life into the cameo character from the classic novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’” the book’s description on Amazon says.

It allowed readers in Warrenton to go back to the days of the French Revolution, but to see it from a different perspective.

It was a bit smaller of a group than normal who came to the library Dec. 27 to discuss the story, Schaefferkoetter said, largely because the group met just after Christmas and just before New Year’s. The weather didn’t help either. But she said they also don’t want the group to get too big.

She said headquarters thinks these types of groups shouldn’t get bigger than 12 people.

“More than that gets too restrictive,” she said. “Everybody doesn’t get the chance to talk and some dominate a little bit and others don’t say as much.”

The group discussing “The Seamstress” was just the right size, as all six people in attendance were able to contribute to a conversation that lasted almost an hour.

Usually, once the discussion finishes, the group colors in the most recent country they “visited.” That didn’t happen at this meeting because the group had already read a story set in France, which is one of 16 countries they’ve been to.

The Literary Travelers group have discussed stories set on four continents – North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia – and are hoping to add South America and Australia in the near future.

“We just enjoy traveling around the world,” Schaefferkoetter said.

The next book they are reading, “Girl in Ice” by Erica Ferencik, is set on Norwegian islands in the Arctic Circle. They’ll discuss that story at the Jan. 24 meeting.

Schaefferkoetter said anyone wishing to join the group simply needs to stop by the Warrenton library and check out the book.

“Then they just show up on the fourth Wednesday at 2:00,” she said.

She also said that, even though the group is small, there is still enormous benefit to the community.

“I think anytime you can give purpose to people of all ages and keep them actively engaged, you promote health,” Schaefferkoetter said.

About the author: Jason Koch is the editor of The Warren County Record, and covers local news and government for the newspaper. He has won multiple awards from both the Indiana and Illinois APME and from the Illinois Press Association. He can be reached at 636-456-6397 or at jason@warrencountyrecord.com

warrenton, library, book, club, travel