Image of Charleston, West Virginia Book Lover Founder Sarah Meriwether Nutter
The Book Lovers Club of Charleston in West Virginia is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, marking a century of promoting literary works and intellectual discussions. Founded in 1923 in Charleston, West Virginia, by Mrs. Sarah Meriwether Nutter, the club was established to provide a platform for intellectual discourse, primarily focused on the role of books. Today, the club’s membership includes scholars, educators, and women of letters who share a common passion for literature.
To celebrate its centennial, The Book Lovers Club of Charleston is hosting a virtual program Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 2:00 PM, featuring guest speaker, Trevellya “Tee” Ford-Ahmed, Ph.D., who will discuss the 2022 – 2023 theme, “Paradigm Shift in World Issues.” The event will also feature presentations from current and ex-officio members, who will share the club’s history, purpose, and impact.
The Book Lovers Club of Charleston is part of a long tradition of book clubs, which have been a critical space for leisure, fellowship, and study. Listen to the late Book Lover Yvonne Moore, in her 2012 West Virginia Public Broadcasting interview as she recalls meeting Mrs. John C. Norman, one of the club’s founding members was an extraordinary educator in the Kanawha Valley. She said, “So there was no difference between 1923 and 2013, but to share something they all had in common.” And there is no difference in 2023 as the women of diverse backgrounds continue to gather.
Current Book Lover Leader Lisa Williamson shares the following statement, “This is an intimate group of professional women who strive to continue and enhance the organization with the 1923 mission put before us by our founder, Mrs. Nutter, that leads to happiness, satisfaction, and growth.” She further states that the purpose of Book Lovers is for opportunities to expand knowledge, hold thought-provoking conversation, gain understanding and empathy, and achieve personal growth.
The 1923 Charter Members include Mrs. Lucy Cash Jones, Mrs. E. L. Kelley, Mrs. David Lane, Mrs. Charles Mitchell, Mrs. John C. Norman, Mrs. T. G. Nutter, Mrs. E. L. Powell, Mrs. S. J. Price, Mrs. W. W. Sanders, Mrs. F. C. Sumner, and Miss Elaine W. Tancil.
The club’s current members are Sonya Armstrong, Kathy Ferguson, Katonya Hart, Eva Ledbetter, Paulette Mabry, Twana White, Lisa Williamson, and Loretta Young. The ex-officio members include Irene Berger, Ancella Bickley, Betty Brown, and Elaine Chiles.
As author Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ” The Book Lovers Club of Charleston has been reading and sharing the love of books for a century, showing no signs of slowing down. Here’s to another century of turning the page. Contact Book Lover Lisa Williamson for additional information [email protected].