The Big Read: The BYU-I book club

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.

The College of Language and Letters invites all students and faculty to attend The Big Read, which will take place on campus in the Thomas E. Ricks Building in room 147 on Thursday, June 22.

Thomas E. Ricks Building. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.
Thomas E. Ricks Building. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.

The Big Read is a book club organized in 2018 by BYU-Idaho staff. Once every semester, the book club gets together and discusses a novel or play that was assigned for reading.

Past readings have included:

— Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart,

— Erich Maria Remarque’s All’s Quiet on the Western Front,

— William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

This semester, the club will discuss The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Photo credit: Isabel Igwe.

“The Big Read basically is the university’s effort to get students more involved in reading some of the great books of the world,” said Darin Merrill, the organizer of the event. “Our goal is to preserve important books.Student attendance depends on the popularity of the book.” 

About 100 to 150 students attend this event. Free books are also given out, managed by the college’s office manager, MarcAnna Gore. She is also in charge of gathering books for the program and providing refreshments.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Alex Wozniak, an English major who attended the event last semester. “A lot of the English teachers get together and say, ‘Hey! You guys should go to this book club.’ Some of them require it for grades, others for extra credit. The presenter talked a lot about the book and introduced new perspectives on it. I got a lot of insight.”

Jason Williams, the dean of the College of Language and Letters, provided more information on the activity.

“I like the event for a number of reasons,”Williams said. “Sometimes, it’s associated with a class and that’s how students become aware of it. Students also go because they are interested, and discussions come about from multiple angles, which is very enlightening.”

The department also holds an essay contest, in which students analyze important themes in the assigned books. There are prizes for the winners.