The Family that Reads Together, Stays Together

Carl and June Casperson moved to Duluth in 1948. Since 1998, their family has maintained a family book club. Even as some family members moved away from Duluth, the book conversation continued online. The book club not only kept the family connected by reading and discussing a book each quarter; family members also competed with each other to see who could read the most book pages each year. The winner’s name was inscribed on a cup made of silver.

For the first seven years, only one name, June Casperson—who cultivated her children’s love of reading—appeared on the cup. That cup was retired in 2005, when June became too ill to read. Since then, a new cup has consistently featured son Chris Casperson’s name.

In 2015, the family book club’s cumulative donations to the Foundation reached $10,000. The club was honored by a plaque mounted on the Andrew Carnegie section of the Foundation donor wall in the downtown library. This recognition coincided with father Carl Casperson’s 90th birthday, when his family gathered in Duluth from around the country to celebrate. “There are all kinds of book clubs,” observed Carl. “But few are centered on a family.”

June died in 2009; Carl died in 2020. The gracious gift given by the Carl and June Casperson Family Book Club will help make it possible for the library to keep purchasing books for people who, like the Caspersons, love to read.

Dean Casperson, Mary Casperson Kay, Carl Casperson, Kay Casperson Fore, and Chris Casperson. Two members of the book club, Leigh Casperson Hagge and Kelly Casperson, were unable to attend. Photo © Bob King/Duluth News Tribune.