New Book Club Reminds Students That Reading Should Be Fun


Teachers Mariam Alajjan and Bridget Figmic collaborated to create a new school book club that prioritizes student opinions and voices in discussions revolving around the world of reading.

The decision for Ms. Alajjan and Ms. Figmic to make a book club was easy. They both love to read and wanted to create an environment that encourages students to discuss and explore new genres, topics, and stories.

It was the name that took some time to workshop, since they wanted something catchy to draw in new members. Luckily for the two teachers-now-advisors, democracy worked in their favor, and their students made the decision easier for them by voting on the current name of the club.

The chosen club name, “Booked ‘Till Midnight,” was inspired by the dedication that readers have to their activity, implying that the schedules of people who love to read are “booked ‘till midnight,” and proving that these book lovers can never read enough.

“It was this concept where you can pick up a book and get lost in it, and stay in it for hours,” Ms. Alajjan said, “So, ‘Booked ‘Till Midnight’ is the idea that you can read all night, ‘cuz you love it so much.”

After the name debate, the club is now up and running, allowing students the space to voice their opinions on what books to read, as well as aspects they enjoy and dislike about each one, without fear of judgment. The first book the club chose was “In the Woods,” by Tana French.

“A book is supposed to make you react and feel, and that way, you know, it’s an effective novel,” Ms. Alajjan said, “So I love that [students] can come in here and have that kind of conversation …without the pressure of it being graded, or the pressure of them being forced to read it.”

Ms. Alajjan stressed how important it was for the club to preserve the true meaning of reading: having fun.

“You get to just read, and come in with your opinion, and talk about how you feel, instead of having to read it for a class and worrying about writing an essay or quotes and stuff like that,” she said, “So it was an easy way to create a reading community without this sort of pressure and fingers attached to it.”

Ms. Figmic added how important it was to her to learn about her students’ interests, as well as introduce them to new things, through club discussions.

“So we said, maybe we can open our eyes to our students and cater to what they like, but also get them to see different things and figure out who they are, as people and as readers, and what they’re interested in,” Ms. Figmic said.

The club doesn’t only allow students to experience new things. The advisors get to learn and experience new things, as well, proving that anyone can walk away from this club having learned or experienced something new.

“We tend to like romance and thrillers a little bit more, but I’ve read some really good, historical fiction books that I never thought I would read and, and it’s because I’m part of this big book club,” Ms. Figmic said.


If you’re interested in joining “Booked ‘Till Midnight,” be sure to talk to Ms. Alajjan in room F314 or Ms. Figmic in F305.