The Loose Ladies of Mesa
Mesa, Colorado

club loose-ladies-wdclub loose-ladies-lg6

STUNNING VISTAS are a feast for the eyes in Colorado, wherever you turn. But these women manage to turn their eyes to the printed page. They're a group of devoted readers, and, yes, they are loose. It's the West, after all.

Lots of wine glasses in these photos. Is that what makes you loose?
Well...maybe a little. Actually, the real story goes back to our beginning 10 years ago. Someone initially suggested the name "No Rules Book Club." We liked the idea of operating within a "loose" structure—thus our name. We also adopted the motto, "Just Come." It doesn't matter whether you've read the book or not.

How did you get your start?
Mesa has only about 600 residents. We're not even a village—we're spread throughout the Plateau Valley, about 35 miles from Grand Junction. Back in 2003, our postmistress and a a few other women began talking about a book club; they eventually got together at our library's community center.

That was 10 years ago. How many members now?
We have 20 members. Many are retired and traveling, so a normal showing is 8-10 members.

You've obviously read a good 100 books over the past 10 years. Tell us what you've read recently.
Here's what we've read over the past 12 months:
Cleopatra: a Life
Cutting for Stone
Fallen Angel
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Kitchen House
People of the Book
Reliable Wife
Rules of Civility
Sarah's Key
Seeing a Large Cat
Staking Her Claim
Still Alice

How do you go about selecting your books?
Once a year we have a potluck and pick twelve books for the upcoming year. Everybody brings selections, and then we vote on the books. The twelve with the most votes are the books we read.

We have, by the way, added a couple of rules:
1) We stay away from religious or political books.
2) Whoever suggested the book leads the discussion.

Tell us about Color Sunday.
For the past six years we've held a book sale on Color Sunday. It's a major event in our community—a day we set aside to celebrate the beauty of the changing leaves. Our Plateau Valley 4H Club holds a turkey dinner and last year served over 900! The money we raised bought a computer for our small library and also allowed us to distribute books for the library's parties at Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Finally, how would you describe your club?

We're a wonderful group of women. The fact that we're all different is what leads to our lively discussions (provided most of us have read the book...back to our name again). What makes the club special is reading a book some of us might never have picked up on our own...and then we end up loving it.

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