PATRICK MCAULEY ‘19 | SPORTS EDITOR • This past Monday, February 18, a group of faculty members and learned students teamed up to put on the 2nd annual event of a continuous reading of a famous book. Last year, Frankenstein drew in many students during the book’s 100th anniversary.
“Dr. Lorraine McCrary brought in a speaker on Frankenstein,” Public Services Librarian Jeffrey Beck said. “She was teaching a class that employed the book, and Frankenstein has been in EQ in the past. So, it was a natural pick.”
This year’s reading was of Gilgamesh, the epic poem about a lonely king that goes through great lengths in discovery of his personal self-worth while encountering barriers and obstacles along the way. Some of this year’s faculty readers included Associate Professor of Religion David Bli, BKT Assistant Professor of Political Science Lorraine McCrary, Lawrence E. Devorre Professor of Economics Joyce Brunette, and Associate Professor MAthematics and Computer Science Colin Mckinney. Student readers included Dane Smith ’22 and Alex Rotaru ’22.
Reading Gilgamesh publicly returns us to how most of humanity experiences stories: spoken aloud,” McKinney said. “It celebrates us as a literary community that values these works and experiencing them as countless generations did in ancient Mesopotamia. Reading it is what makes Gilgamesh immortal.”
The reading lasted just over two and half hours. It took place in the periodical section of the library on the first floor. Beck thinks the overall idea of the event was to make it a community-based effort grounded in the efforts
of readers. He thinks the event was a great way to draw in many people from across campus.
“This was the 2nd time we have done this,” Beck said. “After having the Frankenstein experience, we wondered how we could follow up. After looking at EQ through the text, that just naturally lead to Gilgamesh.”
Looking forward, the library staff plans on making some major changes to help improve the event. Beck thinks that the event will take place more periodically, and they want the College’s advice. Beck actually sent around a recent survey to get a better sense of the types of books people want to see next time. Some of the books on the list included “The Hobbit” and “Siddhartha,” which gives insight to the values and teachings of Buddhism.
There is still time, so send in some ideas!