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Passion for reading leads local woman to start book club

June 18, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - Calling all women 23 and older who live or work in Western Maryland and would like to get together with other women and enjoy their passion for reading.

The Sisters in Spirit book club will have a meet-and-greet on Sunday, June 24, at the Comfort Suites Inn on Dual Highway at 4 p.m., according to Ladetra Robinson, who has been organizing the book club.

On June 24, Robinson will explain how the monthly book club will operate. She will hand out application forms and ask the women what books written by African-American women they want to read and discuss.

This event will conclude with refreshments catered by her husband, George R. Robinson Jr., who said he supports his wife in the book club effort.

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"The first day I met my wife, she had a book in her hand," he said. "Now 13 years later, she still keeps a book in her hand."

For a number of years, Robinson and her sister-in-law, Robin Harmon, have been reading books and then discussing them with each other.

"Robin is very committed to the group," Robinson said. "I tend to read quickly so it is hard for me to find people to discuss books with."

When the idea for a local club first struck her, Robinson e-mailed a lot of business and professional women in the area. "They came back and said just tell me when," she said.

The plan is to have a different host each month. That host will choose the book and decide where the book club will meet, Robinson said.

Born in North Carolina, Robinson grew up in Los Angeles and was always encouraged by her mother to read. "It really is my passion - I'll read anything," she said.

Robinson, 43, was involved in book clubs when she was in California. Once the club here is up and running, she wants to partner with other area book clubs and perhaps start a book club for young people, too.

After attending UCLA, Robinson came east for employment, first with the Internal Revenue Service and then the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"I met George in Laurel, Md., and he said he wanted to come back home to his hometown of Hagerstown," Robinson said.

The couple has three children, George III, 10, Amber, 8, and Randy, 7.

Robinson now works at Hospice of Washington County.

She is also a commissioner with the Washington County Commission for Women and volunteers at the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition.

She hopes Sisters in Spirit (SIS) will become a forum which fosters sisterhood among women who possess a passion for literature, self-enrichment and who also enjoy multicultural events.

And for his part, George Robinson said he plans to do everything possible to see SIS succeed.

"I'm really looking forward to helping my wife fulfill her dream," he said.

"It will be rewarding for everyone," she said, encouraging interested women to call her before June 24 to express their plans to attend.

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