A literary love affair

UB Lit Club to host V-Day event to promote reading on campus

The Spectrum

Some students turn to romantic date nights, chocolates and roses with their significant others during Valentine's Day.

Others turn to books.

UB's Literature Club has a goal of spreading literacy and their passion for books throughout the UB community.

This Valentine's Day, the group is hosting its first "Blind Date with a Book" event. On Feb. 14 between 12-5 p.m., on the second floor of Lockwood Library, members of the club and anyone else interested in participating will cover books in wrapping paper and decorations. They will then write love notes in context with the books and return them to the shelves of Lockwood. Students participating in the event will pick a book to check out of the library based on the love notes and doodles covering the book, and thus will have a "blind date" with a book.

"We want to promote literacy and the love of reading with our fellow classmates," said Heather Gibson, a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing. "Blind Date with a Book will enhance intellectual stimulation and emotional sustenance amongst everyone involved ... this 'blind choice' will give each person an opportunity to perhaps read a genre he or she typically doesn't buy on his or her own."

Gibson said being a part of the club has kept her connected with the world and the UB community. Members come from many different majors, which exposes her to a "plethora of different literature choices and world views." She finds comfort in sharing her thoughts on a film or novel with the "artsy" students in UB Lit.

UB Lit isn't just about reading good books; it's about healthy debates, reading literature foreign to oneself, making friends, contemplating deep issues, overcoming shyness and enhancing communication skills, according to Gibson.

Club members bring their own writing to meetings and receive feedback from their fellow literature lovers.

"The environment of the club is so open and laidback that receiving feedback on work is not a stressful process," said Katrina Cropo, a sophomore psychology major. "UB Lit Club has become a place where I can go to learn about new books and have great conversations about the ones I've already read."

Cropo believes it's important to host Blind Date with a Book, because she fears not enough people read. She said reading in college is a part of everyday life, but because of that, people can forget how nice it can be to read for enjoyment. She hopes the event will help students discover that love for reading outside of textbooks and class material.

Aditi Premnath, a junior English major and secretary of UB Lit, paints, plays the piano and "absolutely adore[s] reading Victorian literature," she said. She spends much of her time perusing museums or in libraries "frantically" finding books for her assignments.

She said she searched for a club that would cater to her interests throughout her time at UB, but it wasn't until she found UB Lit that she truly found where she belonged.

"So for a literature geek who feels at home talking about art and books, UB Literary Club is perfect," Premnath said. "I finally found people who love talking about the same things I am passionate about."

Premnath said UB Lit is unique from other academically focused clubs because it does not just explore one area but offers its members vastness and creativity. She said the club serves as a place to discuss, debate and express thoughts and emotions openly.

"As romantic as it sounds, the connection with books is dissolving in this increasingly busy world," Premnath said. "We would like UB students to take a few hours to re-establish a connection with the written word."

Premnath hopes to see many students on the second floor of Lockwood on Valentine's Day prepared for the ultimate blind date with a book.

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