Bookworms: Local club discusses border issues through reading - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Bookworms: Local club discusses border issues through reading

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Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2019 9:15 pm

For almost two years, Brownsville residents have been gathering at 7 th and Park during some weekends to discuss their readings as part of the “Bookworm” club they formed to talk about border issues.

From different careers, the bookworms have read more than 17 books that deal with topics of immigration, poverty, biculturalism, struggle and resilience. They meet at least once a month and discuss the book thoroughly with meetings that may last up to three hours.

“The idea was to focus on books about the border, so, in those books we found topics that deal with immigration, poverty, biculturalism and in those books we found characters and stories about struggle and perseverance, resilience and these great stories about immigrants,” Edgar Gaucin, cofounder of the club, said.

The idea for the book club started when Gaucin met a journalist from El Paso, Debbie Nathan, and they both started to talk about books and they realized they read books on similar topics.

“We just started to talk about books and the border and we realized that we have read many books on similar topics so we said that we should start a book club and we posted the announcement on Facebook and people started showing up,” he said.

Nelly Rincones said she loves the book club because as a teacher, she noticed the curriculum for her classes do not include many books that students who are migrants can relate to.

“It is important here in our community to advocate for literacy, especially literacy about us, I teach high school, English as a Second Language, and I found that a lot of our curriculum did not reflect the people from the border and that was one of the reasons why I am so drawn to this particular book club,” she said. “There are so many great books, and they’re not all about the border, we’ve read ‘The Good Immigrant’ which were little pieces from immigrants across the world.”

Aida Montanaro said she was looking to join a book club in Brownsville for a long time but never found one, until she heard about “Brownsville Bookworms” and said she was really excited to finally join one, especially one that talks about issues that are important to her such as migration.

“I was so excited when I found about the book club because I was looking to become part of one for the longest time,” she said. “We always end up making the connections from the books to what it actually means to be an immigrant, we are all human beings and we all have the same needs.”

Dolores Perez said the only rule the book club has is that they have to read the whole book for the meeting but new members can attend without reading the book. She said she loves reading and remembers how her parents would always have books and newspapers at her house while growing up.

“We just really enjoy the conversations, and I have to say, Edgar really keeps us on track and engaged, he comes prepared with topics and questions to address,” she said. “The discussion can really go for hours … everybody is invited.”

The next meeting is scheduled at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26. For more information, visit “Brownsville Bookworms” on Facebook.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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