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Club makes reading cool

23 April 2014 By Jake Ulick, Columnist No Comments
Sarah Hugel/ The Towerlight

Sarah Hugel/ The Towerlight

Despite the growing popularity of binge watching television shows on Netflix, sophomore Shelby Blake would still rather sit down with a good book. That is why she joined Towson’s new book club TU Reads.

“From personal experience, I find that there’s nothing better than sitting outside on a nice day, reading a good book,” early education major Blake said.

Blake is also one of the club’s officers who began attending the club after learning about it from her English professor Michelle Chester who began the club a few months ago.

“The idea sparked a few months ago when someone mentioned to me that TU had no such thing and wouldn’t it be great if one could start,” Chester said.

To get the group started, Chester mentioned the idea to her classes and saw a great response.

“I was thrilled by the response from students interested in running for office and in getting things going,” she said. “Our current officers have taken ownership of this club.  They have me feeling like a mama tigress watching her cubs.”

The group meets in the Liberal Arts Building on the fourth Wednesday of every month and discusses a different book at each meeting.

This month the group met to discuss the novel “Gods Behaving Badly” by Marie Phillips.

The members of the club select the book during its regular meetings.

“First, we have those who come to the meeting choose the book for the next discussion,” Chester said. “Right now, we have a running list of titles, and each person votes.  Majority rules.  We announce the next selection at the end of our discussion.”

Next, the members share their opinions and perceptions of the book, which can lead to either comedic or philosophical discussions.

“What I enjoy the most about discussing literature in a group setting is that I get to hear other people’s thoughts and perspectives that I may have never thought of,” Blake said.

Freshman and president of the club Brianna James also believes that the group discussion aspect of the club is what separates it from textbooks or novels assigned by professors.

“For classes we have to complete a piece prior to an assignment on a certain day, leaving us no time to process what we’ve read; that can really suck the fun from it,” James said. “When reading for leisure, you’re on your own time.”

She believes that it’s not that students have a problem with the actual act of reading, but that they are oftentimes forced to absorb the content and process it for a grade even if the student does not find it engaging.

The members of the club encourage other students to come to a meeting even if they have not attended the most recent one.

“Reading can really connect groups of people. You uncover your likes, dislikes, and meet people that share similar interests,” James said. “TU Reads is a place for students to come together enjoy good books and good conversation and an opportunity for students to have fun and take a break from the stress of college.”

The club’s next meeting will be June 18 from 2 – 4 p.m. in a room that is to be determined.

The reading will be “The Postman Always Rings Twice” by James M. Cain.

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