Colgate Book Society Creates Opportunity for Literary Discussion

The Colgate Book Society, a new club on campus, was founded by sophomore Peter Bulan this semester. According to the leaders of the club, the intention of the Colgate Book Society is to create a space for the non-academic discussion of literature and to create new connections with fellow students.

Bulan, who serves as the President of Colgate Book Society, stated that while he didn’t originally plan to create an official new club, he reconsidered after seeing that over twenty people wanted to join.

“[There were so many people interested] that I realized I couldn’t do some small book club thing but actually had to form something [official],” Bulan said. “I have always wanted to be in a book club and now [that] I had an actual opportunity in front of me to create one, I did. After a few successful informal meetings, I formally applied at the beginning of this semester and we are now a burgeoning club.”

Bulan explained that his responsibilities as president include facilitating officers and making overarching decisions for the club.

“The most important thing to me is providing a space wherein my leadership team has a voice and can help me make decisions,” Bulan said. “I hate the idea of doing things simply how I’d like to have them done [so] consulting my board members and finding the right policies is ideal.”

Sophomore Caraline McDonnell became the Vice President of the Colgate Book Society after hearing about it through a mutual friend.

“I had been the President of the Book Club at Carmel High School, and our meetings were always my favorite day of the week, so I reached out to [Bulan] and expressed my enthusiasm and my willingness to help in any way I could,” McDonnell said. “He invited me to meet with him and talk about the club and any ideas I had for [it].”

McDonnell expressed her belief in the importance of reading for pleasure in addition to academic reading.

“Book club is a place where we can read material we genuinely want to, and discuss in a way that isn’t pressured by how we will be graded,” McDonnell said. “Essentially, it’s a group of friends just talking about [the] literature they love.”

Bulan said that as an English major, he finds academic read- ing to occasionally detract from his enjoyment of certain texts.

“I came to love literature through finding meaning in it and simply enjoying it for what it was, without having to put on my analytical college student thinking cap,” Bulan said. “I hope to in some way recapture that for myself and spread my love and interest in literature with those around me.”

Bulan explained that he wanted to start a book club after taking the class American Texts and Contexts.

“I was inspired to try and tackle the great American classic Moby Dick, but considering how often I don’t stick with things, I sought people to join me and keep myself accountable,” Bulan said.

The Colgate Book Society meets for an hour approximately every two weeks. Bulan and McDonnell encourage students interested in the club to reach out to them.

“Everyone has a say in the material we get to read, and the people who come genuinely want to be there,” McDonnell said. “They bring a sort of excitement and a feeling of community to the club that I truly haven’t seen anywhere else.”

Contact Celine Turkyilmaz at [email protected].