Catherine Bryson: Reading Between the Spines


Katharine Lee

Bryson poses with Dune. She cited Frank Herbert’s series as one of her favorites of all time.

Senior Catherine Bryson frequently sports socks patterned with the names of historically banned books. Her earrings feature miniature models of books stacked artfully.

As President and founder of a book club named Reading Between the Spines, Bryson is an avid reader. Her bookshelf is lined with classics, sci-fi novels, and comic books. She talks about characters and plot with palpable enthusiasm, and occasionally slips book quotations into her conversations. Yet how she developed her deep love for reading is a mystery, even to her.

“I don’t know, it just sort of happened,” Bryson said. “When I was a kid, I would get to choose three stories every night. My parents got me into Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Then every night before I went to bed I would start reading.”

Book Club discussions center around the monthly book, which is chosen by club members. All books must be under 400 pages. Previous selections include “Practical Magic,” “Perks of being a Wallflower,” and “The Girl Who Could Fly.” Meetings are also interspersed with games like literary Would-You-Rather, and members are sometimes in for a festive surprise.

“We did a dramatic reading of the Raven for Halloween,” Bryson said. “We didn’t tell anyone what our plans were, we just said we were going to have a meeting. When people walked in, we had candles lit and Halloween cookies out. Kasia, Lizzy, and I were sitting with Hogwarts robes with the hoods pulled down.”

By creating Book Club, Bryson hopes to share her literary journey, encourage students to read, and foster a reading community on campus.

“The mission of the club is simply to encourage others to read,” Bryson said. “Maybe people like reading, but they don’t have time or don’t know what to read. I hope that this club helps motivate them.”