Now that I’m a college grad (what!), a few of my friends decided to start a book club. If we’re being honest, typically a book club consists of a group of people who are partially interested in reading, but mostly interested in gossip and drinks. Unless, of course, you all graduated with a degree in English.
Our first novel was Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, and it was a great first choice. Vonnegut is a talented writer with a lot going on in his novels as well as the understanding that his work is important and meaningful. I really wasn’t interested in the novel or the characters until I started taking notes and paying attention to theme development and such things. Perhaps I’m a bad English major for not getting the Moby Dick references, but hey! I caught the reference to Rime of the Ancient Mariner, so that counts for something, right? The perks of having a book club with English majors is that we’re all equally invested in reading for reading’s sake plus the added benefit of analyzing a piece from so many points of view. So when I spent most of my time analyzing the ending of the book and it’s “history of idiots,” my friends made up for it in their deep appreciation for Bokononism and the in-depth thoughtfulness about the opening line, in which the narrator asks the reader to call him Jonah. Plus, having two of our professors there to throw in their two cents made it that much more fun and exciting and invigorating. It’s hard to explain what it means to really dive into a piece of literature with some of the smartest people you know unless it’s important and special to you. The hour we spent together put a smile on my face for a few days and has enough power to make me feel like I’m floating when I think of it.
I’m quite grateful for the time we spent together discussing the great Kurt Vonnegut, the human responsibility regarding knowledge, and the necessity of humanities in a world of science and technology. Continuing to pursue my passion of literature and learning makes my heart beat faster, puts a smile on my face, and gives meaning to my life. Although I’m moving into the next phase and have ended my student status, this feeling tells me that I made the right choice. And these people show me that I never have to stop falling in love with what I’ve studied because they don’t want to stop either. We might not be the typical book club with wine, gossip, and a majority of the group not reading the book club, but, to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.