It’s Friday Night. There’s a “We are closed” sign hanging on Daisy Chain Book Co.’s door, yet the store is still bustling with activity. At 7 p.m, the handful customers who are perusing the jam-packed white bookshelves take a seat in the circle where store owner Brandi Morpurgo sits with a book in her hand. It’s time for book club.
“I didn’t want to do what every other book club does, where they say ‘And here’s the book you’re going to read. Go and buy it, it’s a new one!’ Then you have to read it, and if you don’t read it you feel like a failure or you don’t like it,” says Morpurgo. “In the beginning I said, ‘Let’s talk about books we’re already reading.’”
Morpurgo started hosting book clubs at Daisy Chain Book Co. in November 2020, one month after she opened the store on High Street. The class filled quickly and a lengthy waitlist appeared. So, she added a second class. And a third. Now, she has five book clubs that meet monthly.
The books aren’t 500-page commitments. Sometimes they are, but they can also be light-hearted romances, comedic mysteries and compelling memoirs. Each member gets a say in what book the group reads for the month. Morpurgo will go around the shop and pick a handful of books, and the group will vote on the two they like best. Club members then pick which book out of the two they want to read. Some members might read both, and others might not read the book at all.
“Some people are really snobby about important books, but I think all books are important if they’re bringing you some sort of joy or substance or escape,” says one book club member. “I would feel no judgment about coming in not having read the book.”
Morpurgo admits that there’s been a time or two where even she hasn’t read the book. “Honestly, there’s no pressure,” she says.
Morpurgo likes to start the group discussion by asking everyone a question, such as what they watched on TV that week. Then it’s a free-for-all back-and-forth about the chosen books and other books the group members are currently reading. Morpurgo’s love for what she does is visible through her exuberance and the community she’s built at Daisy Chain Book Co.
“Book club is about the readers, it’s not the actual reading itself,” says Morpurgo. “We usually just use the book as a vehicle. The people in the chair are more important than the book that they read.”
Daisy Chain Book Co. offers five book club groups that each meet once a month. The book club costs $15 for three months, and $5 from each month can be applied to a book purchase the evening of the book club meeting.
The different groups meet on the first Tuesday of the month, the third Tuesday of the month, the second Wednesday of the month, the last Wednesday of the month and the third Friday of the month. Book club runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m at Daisy Chain Book Co., located at 12525 102 Ave.