The last thing students want to do is assign themselves more readings, right?
Luckily for Mohawk College students, there’s a student-run book club that isn’t just a fun way to get involved with the campus community – it’s also low stress and no pressure. No, really. Unlike a lot of book clubs, members don’t have to feel guilty if they skip the reading.
Shelf Indulgence book club president Mackenzie Van Vliet understands that students who love to read might not always have time around their busy school schedules. For her, Shelf Indulgence isn’t just a traditional book club, it’s a way to connect, make friends and explore the magic of stories – whether you read the book or not.
“I felt like I just wasn’t reading books,” Van Vliet recalled. “I read a lot of books in elementary school and maybe a little bit in high school, but as an adult, I noticed I wasn’t reading as often. Then last year I read 12 books, which for me was crazy.”
“With Shelf Indulgence, you don’t even have to read the book, you can just show up and join in on a discussion,” she added. “We have a professor who’s a member of the club, and he’s a busy guy. He’ll show up and fully admit that he didn’t do the reading, but by the end of the meeting we’ll have him convinced that he should read the book.”
Shelf Indulgence meets once per month in the Heath Lounge at Fennell Campus. While everyone in the club is united by their love for books and stories, they are an incredibly diverse group of students.
“I don’t think any of us are from the same program,” Van Vliet said. “Everybody’s super nice to each other, and we make sure everybody has time to discuss what they want to discuss. Every time someone new comes I really just hope they’re having a good time.”
Without the pressure and deadlines of a traditional book club, Shelf Indulgence aims to be a safe space where members can hang out, chat, and spend time exploring stories.
Each month, club members get to voice their choice on what they’d like to read for the month from a pool of books selected by the club’s leadership team. Votes take place on the Shelf Indulgence Instagram page.
Tina Mgonja, a Library and Information Technician student at Mohawk College, works behind the scenes to curate each month’s selections. This month, Shelf Indulgence members chose In the Company of Witches by Auralee Wallace – a novel that Mgonja describes as “cozy fantasy.”
“I wanted to do fantasy because I don’t think we’ve read any fantasy novels yet,” she said. “I think we’ve read things that are magical realism or a little bit fantastical, but not fully in a fantasy world. So, what I describe as cozy fantasy are stories that don’t have too much world-building, things that aren’t dealing with the politics of the magic or any wars. It’s very contained in its own world.”
While the selected reading for March promises to be a comfy, cozy and easy read for exam season, Shelf Indulgence doesn’t shy away from books with twists and turns, diversity and tear-jerking moments. Among the club’s recent reads are The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Tuesdays with Morrie and Daisy Jones and the Six.
Shelf Indulgence runs through the summer, so it’s never too late to join up and grab a book. For more information, visit @mohawkshelfindulgence on Instagram or email Mackenzie.firstname.lastname@example.org.