Faculty and students will take part in the 3rd annual Cover2Cover event featuring The Odyssey by Homer on Oct. 31.
Cover2Cover was started by Todd Womble, Assistant professor of English in the Department of Language and Literature. The idea to do Cover2Cover came from one of Womble’s professors that taught him in graduate school.
“One of my old professors did it with Moby Dick in Arlington,” said Womble. “And I just thought it would be cool to do it on campus.”
Cover2Cover is a once-a-year annual event that has been around since October 2017. Each year since its beginning, it has taken part on Oct. 31. Cover2Cover is a free event to the public and takes place in the Reading Commons located on the 2nd floor of the Brown Library.
This year, students and faculty members will read The Odyssey. The Odysseywas written by the Greek poet Homer and was published around 675-725 BCE. This book consists of nine chapters and will take approximately 12 to 13 hours to read from beginning to end.
In the past, students and faculty have read Frankensteinby Mary Shelley and the first book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoneby J.K. Rowling. This year,The Odyssey will be the longest book to read to date in Cover2Cover history.
Due to The Odyssey’s length, there will be approximately 50 readers, one half students and the other half faculty and administrators. Each reader will read in 15 minute intervals starting from 10 a.m. and going until 10 p.m, or until the book has been finished.
Attendance for the event fluctuates throughout the day depending on if a reader brings friends to support them or if it happens to be a busy hour. There is not one definitive reason for lack thereof or great quantities of audience members.
“Last year with Harry Potter, as you can imagine,’’ said Womble. “We had quite a few people that were there just because they loved Harry Potter.”
Any student is allowed to participate in or listen to Cover2Cover. Students and faculty can come and go as they please anytime during the day the reading is scheduled.
“I would be open to going to it,” said Jennifer Wegner, sophomore special education major from Fort Worth. “I think it’d be interesting to see what other people have to say about it.”
Parts of The Odysseywill be read in Spanish by students and faculty and possibly Greek by one of the professors from the Bible Department.
“If students like literature,” said Womble. “And they want to support it, that’s a good reason to come.”
Students can sign up to become a reader until all the available spots have been filled.
To sign up to be a reader, email Professor Todd Womble at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Reading things out loud is very uncommon in our world today,” said Womble. “It’s kind of a unique thing we don’t do very often.”