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SELMA — The Friday Book Club presented a plaque to the Selma Public Library on Friday in honor of club member and avid reader Linda Vann Lassiter.
Lassiter died in December at age 66 and since then, her family has donated many of the books that comprised her private collection to the library with more to come, according to her husband Donnie Lassiter and Lassiter’s daughter, Sara Lassiter Massey, who both attended the ceremony.
“My goal is to send to you more books than we now have at home,” joked Donnie Lassiter.
“I will never forget the first time I saw her house and the two large bookcases full of books,” said Friday Book Club President Judy Fulghum. “I could not believe it.”
Fulghum said she recalls talking with Lassiter a lot about new authors.
“Linda read a lot and was a wealth of knowledge,” said Fulghum. “She was important to the book club, and I think the book club was important to her, too.”
Linda Lassiter graduated from North Johnston High School as senior class valedictorian in 1970 and graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University four years later. She attended Selma Original Free Will Baptist Church.
“I first met Linda Lassiter five years ago when I became librarian for the Selma Public Library,” said Phyllis Brown. “She visited the library several times a month to pick up books and meet with book clubs. Her family has been gracious enough to donate some of her personal library books to the Selma Public Library. We have placed a special bookplate in each book so as the books are checked out and read by others, that person will know they came from Linda’s personal library collection.”
Brown called Lassiter a special person and said everyone will miss her presence at the library.
“She always had a book around when we were growing up and we came to the library a lot,” said daughter Sara Lassiter Massey. “She was always reading.”
Massey said her mother loved all kinds of books, ranging from “Star Wars” to titles by Christian author Max Lucado.
The Friday Book Club was founded in 1901. According to book club historian Bobbie Wiggs, records show it’s longest continuously operating club of its kind in North Carolina.
“The club originally began as a Tuesday club and eventually changed its meeting time and name to Friday,” said Wiggs. “The object of the club was the study of literature and history.”
In the early years, members met every two weeks and meetings are now held once a month, Wiggs said.
The inscription on the plaque presented to the library reads: “In memory of Linda Vann Lassiter 1952-2018. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me,” attributed to British writer and lay theologian C.S. Lewis.