Intimate Conversation with Exquisite Ladies Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Exquisite Ladies Book Club

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have? 

Exquisite Ladies Book Club (ELBC) is based in Camden, NJ and was founded in December 2010 by Te'Amo Edwards. Currently, we have 8 active members and growing. ELBC is the acronym for Exquisite Ladies Book Club. The name for this book club came about several years ago when a few of my girlfriends on-line and myself wanted to have a social forum/book club for females. We thought of the environment as being a place where females could go to vent, uplift, and encourage one another so Exquisite Ladies was absolutely befitting as the title of the forum.

While the forum started out as a Yahoo group and later became an official forum it didn't last more than a year or so. I kept my passion for wanting a book club and in December 2010 I started ELBC once again on Meetup. Our 1st meeting was conducted in January and we had 5 members show up and we have been doing well since. We're still growing and encourage other females to join.

Exquisite Ladies Book Club: Sisters joined in literary bliss!
President: Te'Amo Edwards
Vice President: Shanowya Jackson

BPM: What is the vision/mission for your organization? Do you host events during the year? Donate to charities or provide any service for the community? 
Our Mission and Purpose is to provide a comfortable setting for a group of diverse readers and discuss African American fiction and nonfiction novels. Unite as sisters and socialize together for book discussions and other events in the community. Support new and upcoming authors by reading, reviewing, inviting authors to our discussions, and attending book signings.

Although ELBC is dedicated to African-American females, we will not exclude non African American authors or members. We come to the group as equals. All have an opportunity to read and express thoughts and feelings. This is also a great way for us to get to know new people, enjoy stimulating discussion and most importantly discover wonderful books. Above all, let’s learn from each other while sharing our thoughts and ideas.

We're still in our first year so we're learning the ins and outs of maintaining a successful book club. Our goals for next year are to implement community service projects, plan at least 1 literary event on an annual basis, and expand to have 12 active members at every discussion. Right now we do plan different outings outside of our monthly discussions to keep the members in touch and continue building bonds/friendships.

BPM: What impact has reading had on your life? Has there been any books that help shape your life or gave you inspiration during a trying time in life?
Reading takes me away from my realities. I can forget whatever I have going on in my life, good and bad, and take on the characters role until the novel is completed. It's a more positive way for me to temporarily escape. I recently read "Who Said It Would Be Easy?" by Cheryl Faye and this book spoke volumes to me. It helped me realize that there is someone out there for everyone. I was dealing with a complicated relationship and found myself feeling depressed with very low self esteem. Reading this really uplifted my emotions and opened my eyes and brought me closer to God.  [Lady Te'Amo, ELBC President in photo]

BPM: In your opinion, why is reading important in our lives?
Reading is important because it expands the mind and keeps the imagination growing. You can travel the world without ever leaving your living room.

BPM: What types of books does your group read? How do you select the featured books?
ELBC mostly reads African American fiction but we don't exclude other genres. We vote on books for 2-3 months at a time.

BPM: What are you reading now as a group? How did you come by this selection?
We just finished reading Love, Honor, and Betray by Kimberla Lawson Roby, this was our July selection. For August, we're reading The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil by Victoria Christopher Murray. Each of these selections were voted.

BPM: How do you feel about digital books such as ebook downloads from Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc? 
I love ebooks it's convenient for on the go reading. With 3 daughters, work, and running errands, I'm always on the move and love being able to use my kindle app to read.

BPM: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? 
There will be a huge increase in digital purchases over printed purchases but I don't believe it'll fully be replaced. Some people are set in their ways and prefer printed material.

BPM: If you shop on Kindle or the Nook, does the price play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
I do make purchases on both the Nook and Kindle and price plays a major part in my purchasing. If the price is about the same as me getting the printed version then I'll just go out and get the printed copy. I don't believe I'll stop getting printed books altogether, I do still like filling up my book shelves and having the physical copy for autographing.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club and possibly your book reviews? 
You can find out more about ELBC at