When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? I’m guessing that this question will have plenty of different answers ranging from, “I reread one of my favorite novels over the weekend,” to “I have not picked up a book since 9th grade.” If you fall closer to the former, amazing! Books are a fantastic way to entertain yourself, to inform yourself, and to gain new perspectives! If your answer lies closer to the latter, you may just need to find out what kind of book you like, or find the proper time and incentive to read. I know that in college, I spend a lot more time reading journal articles and textbooks for classes than anything else, and that is why I am so happy 186 South College started a book club!

The club started meeting back in April, and members have been reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. You may have heard of The Handmaid’s Tale before in the show adaptation on Hulu. The book transports you to a totalitarian state, Gilead, that takes the place of what is currently the United States of America. Through the main character’s eyes and memories, you experience the society’s highly structured and religious customs and discover what they mean for our protagonist and the people around her.  The book club members have enjoyed reading along together and sharing our questions, thoughts, and ideas. The way information is revealed in the book keeps you questioning. Creating our own explanations of book events, or even guessing what will happen next, has been a great form of entertainment for the group. It was a fantastic way to stay connected as the school transitioned online. It was also a great incentive to read for fun again, something I had not made the time for in a long while.

So, what’s next for the 186 South College book worms? We want to include you! We would love input for what books we should read next, and we would love for you to come and read with us. We plan to continue reading The Handmaid’s Tale this semester, but if you want to join and are not on Chapter 35 of The Handmaid’s Tale, then don’t worry, because we also plan to explore other novels and incorporate short stories and articles into future meetings. Also, if you have seen the show and are curious about how the book differs, we are a lot more entertaining than Sparknotes! For our next book selections, we want to focus on books that are socially conscientious and relevant to the modern world. Everyone is free to join in on the fun, and it is a way for us all to connect virtually and share ideas. You can contact Abhigna Rao at abhiarao@udel.edu or me at jsgloyd@gmail.com to get involved. 

It has truly been wonderful to read over summer and this semester, not only because it is fun, but also because it is making me think and keeping me connected to the UD community.

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