They’re pouring over these books.
At Novels on Tap — an adult book club run by Pasco County Libraries — readers are given the chance to grab a new book every month, and discuss it, while also grabbing a drink.
Formed out of the Starkey Ranch Theatre Library Cultural Center, registered participants will meet once a month on the weekends after reading the selected book and passionately, and sometimes hilariously, discuss whether or not they enjoyed the book, answer discussion questions and, of course, have an adult beverage or two.
“I inherited this book club from another librarian who is no longer at our branch, but Novels on Tap was her brainchild,” said Starkey Ranch Theatre Library Cultural Center librarian Danielle Davis, who runs the monthly meetups and distribution of books out of the Odessa branch. “We were looking for a fun way for adults to get together outside the library walls, because not everyone can come to the branch during the week, during hours — so, she said, ‘Why not have it at a taproom on the weekends and have a drink or two, if you like?’
“And it’s been going very well,” Davis added, “because registration has been maxed out for the most part and everyone seems to enjoy it a lot.”
Like most everything else out of any branch of Pasco County Libraries, participating in the Novels on Tap comes at no cost, as the Starkey branch will provide the books — about 15 or so hard copies. Davis says apps such as Libby and Hoopla can be used to get the e-book version for free, as well.
The only thing that costs is the drinks, which are readily available at Wicked Pour, a pour-yourself taproom in Odessa where this book club meets monthly, usually on Sunday afternoons.
“Everyone has a lot of fun at Novels on Tap,” Davis said. “It’s all about the company of people who really enjoy getting together and having a drink, or not, and really getting a chance to discuss the novel with other people.
“And we explore different genres, especially since doing that will get readers to, maybe, go outside their comfort zone (of books they would normally read).”
Davis said the club purposely does that not only to push readers to try something new, but also to encourage the discussions, which can get lively. The club also will have occasional themed months, such as a horror book in October or a young adult genre book.
In April, participants met to discuss “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, which is a multi-generational family saga set between the 1940s to the 1990s and centers on Black, identical twin sisters. Racism was heavily discussed in the historical fiction novel.
It was a theme also heavily discussed by the participants, their adult beverages nearby.
“It does get you out of your shell of books you might never read,” Linda Trent, of New Port Richey, said. “Because I’m reading books that I would have never read if I hadn’t come to this, and that’s good because that’s what book clubs are for. … Sometimes you get a book you can’t put down, other times you get one that you don’t know if you can even get through, but that’s the point of a book club. … Then we meet and discuss it and maybe have a drink. That’s definitely the fun part.”
The drinking book club has drawn readers from all over the county, including those from the Pasco County library system. Land O’ Lakes Branch librarian Robyn Powers says she is trying to get Novels on Tap to expand to her branch, which would then have its meetings at In The Loop Brewing, also in Land O’ Lakes.
“I love this club and meeting up to discuss books with a drink,” Powers added. “If we get one in Land O’ Lakes, I would expect it to be very popular.”
Novels on Tap
When: May 21, 2 p.m.
Where: Wicked Pour, 12263 State Road 54, Odessa
Next book: “Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn
Details: Readers age 21 and over can join this monthly book club as they discuss the book provided by the library over a few adult beverages. The club can provide upwards of 15 of the next book being read and discussed, and might be available at the local branch. Library officials also said apps such as Libby and Hoopla can be used to get the e-book version for free.
Registration is required to attend. Masks are recommended but not required. To register or for more information, visit PascoLibraries.org.
Published April 26, 2023