Glenbard West Book Club – What is it?

When Glenbard West Seniors Lula Crews and Aarthi Mallavarpu first met in Mr. Staron’s World History class their freshman year, they quickly realized that they shared a strong common interest: reading. 

Both Lula and Aarthi have been avid readers since a young age. Lula “[comes] from a family of big readers,” and her love for reading was facilitated by this “environment where it was so welcomed and normalized.” On the other hand, Aarthi describes her family as more STEM-oriented. Books became her “escape” to a more creative world where she could connect to other creative minds. Aarthi was interested in joining a book club freshman year, however, Glenbard West did not have one at the time.

Lula and Aarthi have been tutors in the Write Place since last year. At lunch, they discussed how Glenbard West was still lacking a book club. They took it upon themselves to start their own book club. Lula expressed how important it was for her to start this club, as “there’s not really a space for teens particularly to exist in the literary world.” While we often see book clubs offered for younger children and adults, teens are usually left out of the mix. Glenbard West’s Head Librarian Mrs. Hollander agreed to sponsor the book club last year and it has been up and running since.

The Glenbard West Book Club meets in the Elliot Library about once a month during PLC on Mondays. You can find the current schedule on the club’s Schoology group(495W-F8CR-TZS56). Lula described their club as very “hands off” – “we don’t require a lot from you.” Students can simply show up and discuss what they are reading with others who share a passion for reading. Sometimes the club decides on a recommended book to read together, however, you can choose to read whatever you like. The meetings themselves tend to be unstructured discussions, but every so often the meetings have more structured activities. At one meeting last year, members got into an enthusiastic debate as they ranked different tropes in literature.

Lula and Aarthi encourage anyone interested in joining to stop by any upcoming meetings. When asked about their favorite part of the club, they both agree: “the people.” If you’re looking for a “welcoming” and “relaxed” space to talk about reading, then book club is just the place for you.