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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Student Book Clubs

Reading can be fun

For college students, reading books is so much a part of the academic routine that it sometimes becomes associated with stress and deadlines instead of pleasure. While everyone has a different relationship with literature, most people have expressed facing a challenge with trying to read books for fun during the busy school year.

Davis offers several book club opportunities and communities to get in touch with the pleasurable side of reading, such as the UC Davis English Department’s official Beyond the Book Club. Beyond the Book Club meets in Olson 151 from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Their mission is to “foster our members’ literary creativity by creating a space that is safe and welcoming for all. As an organization, we will strive to share our love of literature with the community, and as a group we will aspire to make lasting connections with our fellow literature lovers.”

Raul Castellanos, a recent graduate of UC Davis with a degree in English and a current graduate student at the UC Davis School of Education, facilitated Beyond the Book Club last year.

“I really liked meeting other English majors through it,” Castellanos said. “It really made me feel like I was part of the community and it made the campus feel like home. I would prep by coming up with a lesson plan, usually just something to read and some discussion questions for it.”

Even though the English major curriculum is based around reading books, discussing novels outside of the classroom provides a casual and comfortable atmosphere for people to meet each other while discussing literature. The club is open to all majors and welcomes anyone who is interested.

Third-year international relations major Maya Barak hosted a book club event at her house where those who attended discussed “The Catcher in the Rye.”

“I was really thinking about an article that [the Aggie] wrote about books we read in high school and how they impacted us then versus now,” Barak said. “I really wanted to read ‘Catcher in the Rye’ because that book really impacted me in high school and I thought what better way to read it than with my friends and analyze it together. The first meeting was really exciting, we got through a fair amount of it but more importantly it was a really fun activity to do with friends.”

Sena Soleimannejad, a third-year human development major, attended Barak’s book club because he wanted a second chance to revisit a book that he had not read since high school.

“I read on my spare time, but getting the chance to discuss it with friends and hearing their thoughts too really heightens the experience and pleasure of reading a book,” Soleimannejad said. “I think it would be really fun to discuss a short story or poem next time because there is so much to analyze in such a small amount of writing.”

Because many people have such busy schedules and opinions, it can often be hard to find a time when everyone can meet or choose a book to focus on. Some people host book clubs at their houses and others have chosen spots downtown such as 3rd & U to grab a beer and discuss with friends.

Written By: Rosie Schwarz — arts@theaggie.org


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