The Book Club has become Knox’s newest addition to Student Senate funded clubs, providing a place for students from all disciplines to explore literature in a casual environment. With its funding established, the club now hopes to receive funding to provide books for all of its members.
This term, the club received a budget of $150, which the club’s president, sophomore Joseph Gilmore, estimates is enough to purchase eight copies of a paperback book. Gilmore plans to request additional funding next term. At the moment, this budget covers the club’s expenses, but attendance is open to all students and often fluctuates.
“At our first meeting, we had almost 40 people,” Gilmore said, who explained that meetings lately have consisted of anywhere from six to 10 members.
The club attracts students from a variety of majors, from creative writing to biochemistry. Many of these students see the club as an escape from their responsibilities.
“A lot of Knox students, including myself, get really wrapped up in their own studies and have a hard time finding time to read outside of class,” music major and sophomore Madeline Pape said. “It’s nice to have something else to read when I feel like I’m losing my mind to musicology.”
Members collectively choose the readings, and the weekly discussions provide students with a break from the structure of typical literature classes.
“What I love about Book Club is that as I am reading, I don’t have to consciously look for discussion points or be thinking and analyzing the books,” Book Club Vice President and sophomore Morgan Madderom said. Madderom feels more comfortable sharing her reactions to the literature without the pressures of a classroom setting. “In English classes I sometimes am afraid to bring up a point because it might be trivial, unintelligent or just plain wrong. I never feel that way in Book Club.”
Along with other members, Madderom embraces the sense of community created by Book Club. Each meeting begins with a “roses and thorns” session where members are asked to share one good thing and one bad thing from their day.
“What I love most about Book Club is how close the members of Book Club have become,” Madderom said.