Monday March 6, 2017
Many college students enjoy leisurely reading, seeing as they are studious college people. Such a crazy thing to believe, isn’t it? Although, from what I have gathered, many students have a difficult time reading during the academic year because of how busy schedules can become. However there is a group of strong-willed, gritty students at the University of Dayton that cut into their limited free time in the name of literature!
“Porch Reads” is a club that offers UD students a free book by signing up. When students sign up, they then have the opportunity to meet with other Porch Readers to discuss the free book. Not only is the book free, but students are also offered free food and a chance to win bookstore credit (which is actually very valuable, because the bookstore is essentially a massive treasure trove of UD gear). I am proud to identify myself as a Porch Reader, having recently taken part in the latest free book. This decision could not have turned out any better.
The book was entitled When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and its easily one of the best books I have read in the last few years. Dr. Kalanithi covered a range of topics, both in this book and in his life. His writing, while entirely genuine, is incredibly moving in numerous ways. From his search to uncover the relationship between the human perception of reality and what is biochemically happening in the human brain to his fierce battle with cancer, Dr. Kalanithi gives an account that I honestly was not ready to read. The intersection of life, work, and love through the eyes of a Stanford University-bred neurosurgeon and literary advocate is complex in its content, but simple in its language. Through this, When Breath Becomes Air is attractive to an array of audiences.
Discussing such an amazing book, and enjoying a slice of pizza or two (and a brownie), was a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday evening. Reading a book outside of class, especially an impactful book such as When Breath Becomes Air, was well worth my time and I plan to participate in Porch Reads again! If you haven’t checked it out, go read Paul Kalanithi’s book. He’s simply the man.