Article Published: Feb. 14 | Modified: Feb. 20
You don’t always have to pay more than $20 to see a good movie in Watauga County.
To encourage both reluctant and voracious readers alike to explore the less subtle themes of books and their theatrical counterparts, the Watauga County Public Library is hosting Third Thursday book/movie discussion groups.
The group has converged monthly since beginning last summer.
On odd numbered months, the group discusses a particular book before watching the film version the following month, said Darren Smith, a reference librarian at the WCPL.
When Smith started working at the library, he was tasked with creating a book or discussion group.
“And since I enjoy movies, as well as books, I thought I would combine two things and see if people were interested,” Smith said.
The books currently listed on the “to be discussed” page are selections Smith has enjoyed personally and feels would be relatable to local readers and viewers.
“They were books that I’ve read and had an impact on me,” he said. “So, I thought these things appeal to me, maybe I would try to see if there are others these types of work appeal to.”
Smith said there is no exact formula for the book discussion groups. “It’s anything anyone wants to share and any type of relevancy they see to society, politics or the world in general,” he said.
Movie nights are as relaxed as the name implies, with viewers enjoying the film in a casual atmosphere and joining in discussion afterward.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the group will view “1984” (1984, rated R), which is based on George Orwell’s landmark novel of the same name.
“It’s a powerful story,” Smith said of the film. “It deals with a totalitarian state and is set up in a futuristic society.”
Smith said the film is relatable to everyone in that it deals with “parallels to modern society” and how people are opening up their personal lives like never before.
“Like the XBOX One,” Smith cited as an example. “It has cameras that can register body language. It also seems like a lot of people are putting things out on Facebook more, and more people are being monitored.”
Smith is hopeful the movie/book combo discussion nights can offer a little something for everyone.
“The overriding concept is to use movies to interest people who are not into reading that much, and to people who already read to provide a break for them and some enjoyment,” Smith said. “By doing it back to back like that, differences between books and movies will become slightly more apparent.”
For more information or for special accommodations, contact the library at (828) 264-8784.