After buying expensive textbooks for different classes, it can hurt a student’s wallet, making it hard to be able to buy a book to read for pleasure that isn’t required for a class. But, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) held an event with a solution: a brown paper book grab.
The event took place on Feb. 10, where students could stop by a table right outside of the Point Café and take a new book to read. Chad Mercer, CAB’s Special Events Coordinator, led the committee that created the get-a-book event with a twist of not knowing what the book actually is.
“The books were wrapped in brown paper, so students did not know what book they were receiving. The paper instead had a few descriptive words written on it that would allow students to pick a book that interested them without seeing the book itself,” Mercer said. “The idea of the event was to give students a free source of entertainment that they would normally have to spend money to obtain.”
Originally, the event was supposed to take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, a hefty turnout changed plans for the CAB members.
“The turnout for the event was great!” Mercer said. “We were able to reach our goal of handing out every book about 30 minutes into the event, which was originally planned to be two hours long.”
This was one of the few in-person events which CAB has put on this semester. Safety precautions were taken to make the event as safe as possible with little contact.
“For safety precautions, we planned the event so that the only contact between students and the event was when they grabbed their book, in addition to having only a few people at the table at once for social distancing,” Mercer said.
Sara Waldman, a sophomore cinema production major, attended the event and was happy with receiving a book but was concerned about the in-person aspect of the event.
“The event itself was a really good idea, I really enjoyed being able to get a free book in a fun way,” said Waldman. “I generally liked the execution of it, but I just wish there was a better method for them to keep it safe so not as many people would be crowded in one hall.”
Another sophomore cinema production major, Caryn Kurdyla, had the same stance as Waldman. When she got to the event right at the time it started, the hallway outside the café was already packed with people.
“By the time I got to the event, there were so many people already crammed together, and the people in line weren’t social distancing,” Kurdyla said. “It was a lot of fun, and I really liked the event, but I just think it could’ve been held in a location that would’ve better suited the amount of people that showed up. Having more books would’ve helped too since they went so quick.”
If anyone missed the event this time around or didn’t get a book before they ran out, luckily there will be more chances to get a mystery book this semester.
“There will be more events like this one! My committee on CAB will be hosting two more installments of Brown Paper Book; the next installment will be on March 10th and the final installment in the trilogy will be on April 9th,” Mercer said.