creating a community through reading


illustration: chandler newman

“To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Great Gatsby” and “Macbeth” were a few of the books I, and many others, were required to read in high school. Many people, including me, dreaded this part of school. Reading is viewed by many as a chore, but after high school,I discovered reading can be beneficial and even fun.


In the spring semester of my freshman year in college I decided I wanted to pick up reading as a hobby, solely based on the craze many books got on BookTok. Instantly I was reading four New York Times Bestsellers a month. I was hooked. 


In my sophomore year I decided to start a book club. The book club is a smaller club that is a part of Her Campus at Kent State. I am the events director for Her Campus and I wanted to incorporate reading into some of our events. I created the book club for members of Her Campus so we could meet up once a month and discuss whatever book we are reading at the time. After several months of book club meetings I found the major benefit of reading.


Don’t get me wrong, it’s quite hard to motivate yourself to read a 350 page book when you could watch a movie or YouTube video instead for your form of entertainment, but I think once you understand the real benefits of reading, it will be worth your time.


“I found my love for reading during quarantine and I think it is such an important escape,” said sophomore integrated language arts major Kerrigan Klickman. “Reading is so personal compared to a TV show or movie where the production is there for you, you can really imagine everything from a book.”


Reading has many benefits including increasing your concentration and memorability, reducing levels of stress and gaining more empathy for others. Even with all these benefits, I think there is one benefit that rules over all.


The most beneficial quality of reading is the community that comes along with it. This is why I decided to create a book club. Every time I finish a book I want to discuss all my thoughts on the book with someone, but a lot of my immediate close friends don’t read so I have felt unfulfilled with my reading experiences in the past. Now that I have a group of people to talk to who I know have read the book, it makes the reading experience even more enjoyable.


Klickman, who is also a member of my book club, said discussing a book with others makes the book more memorable. Lots of people talk about many other forms of media and entertainment like movies and TV shows, but not many people in our generation discuss books. In Klickman’s opinion, discussing a book with others is one of the best parts of the whole reading experience.


“Book club has been the highlight of my semester,” Klickman said. “It has changed my life because I have met amazing people.”


Even before I was in a club solely based on reading, I was creating and engaging in communities based on reading. After reading a book I would always go on TikTok to watch videos that creators have made about certain books and their characters. It’s so interesting seeing other people’s opinions, thoughts and theories about a book.


With a lot of our communication being solely on social media now, you can meet people online based on the things you like, including books and reading. 


“I used to have a ‘bookstagram’ account and I have met so many people because of our love for reading,” Klickman said.


A sense of community is one of the things that makes reading really worth the while.


“If you hate reading, I think you just haven’t looked into it enough because no matter your interest there is a book for you,” Klickman said.

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.