Not your average book club


Cate Bouvet and Olivia Kim

The members of the IHS book club meet in the corner of the library to discuss their current novel of the month.

Olivia Kim and Cate Bouvet

Juniors Piper Jiyamapa and Veronica Iza started Book Club to take a step away from reality and dive into another world. This year, Book Club plans to read twelve books that focus on women’s empowerment and books written by women of color. Each month the club members start a new book, and this month they are reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The American classic, inspired by the author’s life, explores societal expectations of women’s roles within family and professional life. With some relatable stress in these women’s lives, Book Club members also try to de-stress from their responsibilities through reading. 

“We definitely started the club to have a place to relax and de-stress from school while still enjoying a hobby of ours which is reading and being with our friends. We love being around all these girls and think it’s a great club,” said Iza. “Reading is about not being a part of your own world for a minute and enjoying someone else’s.”

“We choose books to both push people out of their comfort zones yet have some relatability within the story,” said Jiyamapa.

In order to figure out which book to read that is enjoyable and worth one’s time, Jiyamapa uses a specific strategy.

“Sometimes you can expect a new book to be a good read because the author of the book is a good writer. In order to figure out if a new book will be a good read or not, [it] depends on [the reader’s] preference of the genre and if the blurb captures the reader’s attention,” Jiyamapa said. 

The direction of Book Club is not dictated by the presidents. Since the presidents don’t personally choose the books but rather make suggestions of themes, members can vote for any book they want to read. 

 “We choose a theme as a group and send out Google Forms to see what everyone wants. That way it’s not just us forcing our likes on other people,” said Iza.  

The reputation of an author helps the Book Club decide which books to choose for each theme. 

“Since many authors have written more than one book, we get a sense for the type of storytelling the author does,” said Jiyamapa. “We don’t usually choose a book to read based on the cover because we value the content and genre over visuals. We care more about the contents and storyline over the cover of a book.”

Book Club is held every Tuesday after school in the quiet section of the library. Members usually split into smaller groups to discuss the books they are reading after a quick meeting as a whole. Around ten members attend every meeting, pull up chairs and join the discussion circle.  

“There are around thirty-five members [total], which is kind of crazy for being a new club,”  Jiyamapa said. 

Iza and Jiyamapa said they wanted to create a space where members can relax and have fun. The club strives to remain an inclusive space for all students to discover books they love. 

 Both presidents agreed this is a time for members to relax and talk to friends about a similar interest. It is an open space for anyone who enjoys reading. 

“We welcome anyone who wants to stop by and try out Book Club!,” said Jiyamapa.