For as long as Marg Lloyd-Jones can remember, she always enjoyed reading a good book.
“I love the feel of a book. When I was younger I remember hiding under the covers at bedtime so I could keep reading long after everyone had gone to sleep,” she said.
It's this passion that led the Bundaberg woman and four of her friends to create a local book club 10 years ago.
Today they celebrated the Just Do It (When You're In Town) Club's decade anniversary at the Bundaberg Regional Libraries.
“That particular name was decided on because there were always people away – it has stuck to this day!” Marg laughed.
“We started this club at home when there was just five of us and it has grown to become something much bigger.
“In 10 years we have read a total of 125 books and we now have 11 members.”
Local author visit
At today's celebrations, the group invited guest speaker and local published author Kerry McGinnis to the gathering.
“She is just an amazing women with a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Marg said.
“I admire how she has approached life.”
Originally from Adelaide, Ms McGinnis took up a life of droving with her family at the age of 12.
After travelling extensively across Australia, it wasn't until 23 years of age that she began to think about writing.
While addressing the group at today's celebration, Ms McGinnis admitted the road to becoming a published author was a slippery slope to begin with.
“I was shocking at spelling and many university lecturers would mention this to me,” she said.
“I remember one lecturer once asked me why I felt the need to leave the ‘e' out of Shakespeare.”
Despite the challenges, Ms McGinnis continued to write.
Her first book, Pieces of Blue, was published by Penguin in the 70s and many more books followed.
Ms McGinnis, now residing in Bundaberg, is the author of two volumes of memoir, Pieces of Blue and Heart Country.
She also wrote best-selling novels The Waddi Tree, Wildhorse Creek, Mallee Sky, Tracking North, Out of Alice, Secrets of the Springs and The Heartwood Hotel.
Reading is a passion
Beth Donovan has been part of the Just Do It (When You're In Town) Club from its inception and said reading had created a strong connection and friendship between members.
“Every book we have ever discussed has always had some element of relatable issues,” she said.
“These books have brought us all together.”
Beth and Marg said their book club would not have been possible without the help from Bundaberg Regional Libraries staff.
“They have really been invaluable and have really helped us along the way,” Marg said.
When asked why their book club had been so successful for so long, the pair put it down to the emotions reading evoked.
“Reading connects you and also takes you somewhere else in your mind,” Beth said.
“Good discussion comes from books which is everything that our club is about,” Marg commented.