Reading Matters

Donate your club’s used books for a special purpose

The Turning Pages Book Club needs your help.

Most of the members do not have a permanent roof or a steady income.

They meet once a week at the main branch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, Tuesday mornings at 10.

You do not have to be homeless to visit. But if you do, check your stereotypes at the door. It’s a smart, articulate group. You might find you’re in over your head.

The book up for discussion the day I visited was Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild,” the true story of Christopher McCandless, a 1992 graduate of Emory University, who gave away his college fund of $25,000 and headed West. Eventually, he hitchhiked to the Stampede Trail in Alaska, survived 100 days on rice and wild plants and, by mid-August of 1992, was found dead in an abandoned bus.

Candace Vance is the founder and leader of the group – 16 strong when I popped in – and tries hard “not to be the mom.”

Fred, who’s eating a health bar, says: “I have always done things I wasn’t quite prepared for just to see if I could do them. We are inherently designed to push the limit.”

Selena agrees: “Christopher knew if he could pull out of that, he could pull out of anything.”

The conversation takes off from there.

Trouble is, books cost money. If your book club would like to donate its used copies – say at least a dozen of each title ‑ email Candace at As she says, “This is repurposing for a purpose.” A grateful Candace will gladly pick them up.