Resourceful Regifting of Reading


Drew Van Chau

A student holds a book, the edges of it are slightly worn and the pages are well turned, but it is a new book. It was the first new book he has held in a year. The only one he will hold until next year. They are an avid reader but have nothing to read, nothing to grow on to learn from. Except this one book, this is what they are thankful for. The one or two books they get each summer, only to hold off their raging curiosity until the next year. And that is what sophomore Wafa Shaikh is trying to help with, to supply books to Saudi Arabian students who do not have such free access as we do. She is sponsoring a book drive with drop-off locations in the library and in rooms 2671, 2663 and 2638.

“A lot of my friends in Saudi Arabia, avid readers, often end up waiting for the summer, when relatives and family friends visit them from different countries to get the books they want; often just one or two to read for a few weeks. Initially, I was only going to buy a few and gift them – but Mrs. Hodges talked about a book drive, and that is how we began. I realized that if I could get a lot more books for each of my friends, they will have something to read for the whole year,” Shaikh said.

The book drive will begin later this February and will run until the end of the semester. Shaikh will take books with her to Saudi Arabia this summer to hand them out.

“We are trying to collect books, any and all genres anything anyone’s willing to pass on, to give them to people who may have a harder time accessing books to read. Wafa does have a list of requested books from some friends that would love to have certain authors. She will be publishing that in case anyone has them available,” English teacher Shanna Hodges said.

The lists of requested books are available at the drop-off rooms. They are looking to collect as many books as possible with no cap on how many they can bring, any and all books are welcomed.

“What an amazing thing to be able to share books and knowledge with students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it, so hopefully there’s great success with it and it’s something that continues into the future,” Hodges said.