Book Club fosters friendship, unites bibliophiles


Maria Shaughnessy

READERS ARE LEADERS. Jake Landry displays a page of a graphic novel while Elisa Hsieh and Nikita Kumar thumb through another copy during the Dec. 5 Book Club meeting. Nikita said participating in the club has allowed her to reach out to others and provides a gateway to find things in common with other people.

Audrey Matzke, Features Editor

Good books are loved for a reason. With engaging prose, moving plots and characters that hold a mirror to our deepest fears and aspirations, it isn’t hard to see why some students enjoy retreating to the literary world.

Reading may be a solitary activity, but one thing’s for certain: members of the U-High book club aren’t lonely. They have characters to fall in love with, stories to lose themselves in, and — when those fall short — a community of real-live readers.

For Lia Garvey, a member, Book Club is a warm and cohesive environment. She said she appreciates the passion exhibited by her fellow members, and that individuals have the freedom to engage with the club however they’d like.

Lia Garvey

“It’s not much of a commitment; you can come whenever you want. You don’t have to come every single time, and you don’t have to read everything. if you have a love of learning, reading, language, even pictures, coz we read comic books sometimes, it’s a fun environment, and a healthy environment, too,” Lia said.

At the beginning of each semester, members compile a list of five books to read, which they will then discuss during the last few weeks of the semester. Meeting in the Library conference room on Thursdays, members are currently working on recording episodes for their podcast: Readers’ Guide to the Galaxy. Nikita Kumar, another member, sees it as a positive, creative outlet.

“Whatever we wanna talk about, we just talk about it, and we do it in what I think is a very fun way. It’s not for everyone else, it’s for us. Sure, it’d be cool to have a wider audience, but yeah, ultimately we’re not creating this for everyone else, we’re creating this because we love to talk about books,” Nikita said.

For her, the stereotypes associated with loving books can be discouraging, and she hopes they won’t dissuade future members from joining.

“Being a bibliophile and a fangirl doesn’t mean I’m out of touch with reality. No, it actually has allowed me to branch out and talk to new people…It’s not like a solitary thing. A lot of people think that being a fangirl is just like ‘oh you spend all your time alone reading the same book over and over again.’ That’s 100 percent not the case. It’s allowed me to reach out to others, and it provides a gateway to find commonality with other people,” Nikita said.

One thing’s for sure, members of Book Club are unrepentant fanatics. They’ve carved out their space in the Pritzker-Traubert Library, and they’re not backing down any time soon.

Lia said: “If you hear screaming coming from the library on Thursdays, it’s probably us.”