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Ohio State Book Club turns a new page

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Madie Ramsey searched through thousands of student organizations offered at Ohio State for one in particular — a book club. A campus club for bookworms previously existed for four years in the past, graduating along with its members.

Ramsey, a third-year in speech and hearing science who dubs herself a “super nerd,” texted two of her friends without consultation: “Hey, I signed us up to start this new club.”

While the original Book Club of OSU delved into more political, controversial and philosophical topics, the reinvented organization wants to do more casual reading of popular books.

Kayla Knoll, fourth-year in biology and event coordinator for the group, didn’t think twice about helping develop the group, saying that she was tired of reading textbooks.

Not a lot of science classes have required fun books to read,” Knoll said. “We don’t want to make (reading) an assignment … having a club or a group of people who also enjoy reading gives people a little more of an incentive to fun read and find that extra time to do it.”

With hearts set on bringing a love of reading to campus, co-presidents Ramsey and Caitlin Reyes, a third-year in Human Development and Family Sciences, said they want their club to be free from obligations, stress and worry. The group’s founders said reading two books a semester should help encourage a fun environment different from that of a classroom.

“It’s just fun to meet people who have the same interests and not feel stressed about it,” said Ramsey, who is currently reading “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare.

After accumulating nearly 50 book recommendations at the involvement fair, the founders narrowed the list down to 10 of all different genres, ranging from classics like “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath to New York Times bestseller “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. The winning books for subsequent readings and discussion format will be voted upon by members.

“There’s so much to discuss in a book and everyone has different opinions,” said Reyes, who just finished reading “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. “Its really interesting to hear what other people have to say and how they view it.”

Ramsey said she reads every night before going to bed in lieu of scrolling through Twitter. The relaxation that reading provides resonated with each of the founders.

“I go through books like crazy,” Reyes said. “I read the entire Harry Potter series over winter break last year just for fun.”

The group acknowledges that reading isn’t for everyone, but hopes that those opposed will give bibliophilia a chance.

Knoll said simply sitting and listening to what other people have to say could lead to interpreting a book in a whole new way, and that is part of the fun of reading.

“You might hate a subject just because you didn’t like the teacher that taught it. I think reading is the same way,” said Knoll, who just began reading “Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs. “You can read one book and talk to one person about it, and they might totally turn you off, but if you read that book with a different group of people, you might realize it’s a really cool story.”
Book Club of OSU meets monthly on Mondays at 8 p.m. in Lazenby Hall in room number two. The first meeting is Sept. 12.

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