Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt recently joined the book club. He was prepared to attend his first meeting on Feb. 20 by reading “A Home On the Field” by UNC professor Paul Cuadros, but he was unfortunately unable to attend.
“I was disappointed that I couldn’t go. I’m looking forward to the next one,” he said. “I’m going to block off that day and make sure nothing happens.”
Brian Callaway, Chapel Hill’s energy management specialist, said Words @ Work helped him get back into reading for fun.
“I recently graduated from UNC, and graduate school can wear you out on reading,” Callaway said. “I do a bunch of reading for work too, and independent reading is an old habit that I had forgotten about. This has been good to kickstart that.”
Callaway said the book club has also given him a chance to interact with co-workers from different departments and read books he wouldn’t know about otherwise.
The book club has also helped employees gain a new perspective on the town and their work.
The first book the club read was “I’m A Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away” by Bill Bryson. The book is about an American who lived in England for many years and came back to the United States with a new perspective on his own culture.
“For us, that insider/outsider view sparked some of us to look different at our jobs and our perceptions,” Hite said about the book. “Sometimes when you look at something through comedy or a funny focus, it’s easier to see things.”