"I didn't do a ton of leisurely reading when I was in high school, mainly because I was too busy doing assigned reading," she admitted. "Looking back, I wish I had taken more time to read things for fun."
It was during the summer that Ariel would read what she wanted, which was mostly fantasy novels—J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien were favorites.
"I pretty much just read whatever was appealing to me at the time," she said.
Ariel wants to give that sense of freedom and fun to other teens, and she doesn't want it confined to summer; so she's starting a Teen Book Club at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch.
"I want to help inspire teens to take a bit of time out of their crazy schedules and dedicate it to reading for fun," she said. "One book a month, with no grades or tests—no stress."
The book club is open to anyone in ninth through 12th grade and its first meeting is 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. (You can register for it on our website, if you like.)
Teens don't have to read anything before the first meeting. They can just drop by and talk about their favorite books. They can also pick up our club's first discussion book, The Fault in our Stars by John Green. (Yeah, we know that some of you may have read it before, but it's still beautiful the second time. Fair warning: It doesn't matter how many times you read it; you'll still cry.)
Then, the book club will meet again to discuss The Fault in our Stars on Sept. 6.
From then on, the club will meet the first Saturday afternoon of each month at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch to talk about books from YA authors Rainbow Rowell, Ransom Riggs and other writers whose names don't all start with R.
And, of course, teens can suggest books too.
"I'm frequently going to gauge the teens' interests and take book suggestions from them," Ariel said. "This is their club, after all, and I don't want it to feel like homework."
If you know a teen who likes reading, loves reading or is just looking for some new people to talk about The Fault in our Stars with, tell them about our Teen Book Club.
If you have any questions regarding the Teen Book Club, call Mentor Library's Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch at 440-257-2512.