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"Stylish and edgy… its archly intelligent tone and insightful writing make Mexican Gothic an original escape to an eerie world."

New York Times

Our Big Read is designed to enrich Greater Lafayette through the shared experience of literature. Each year we select a great book, create a calendar of engaging events, including lectures, book group discussions, performances, workshops and author visits, and then provide free copies of the text to the community. Studies show that book ownership contributes to academic achievement, educational attainment, and economic development.

We’re really excited to work with the West Lafayette Public Library, the Tippecanoe County Public Library, and other local organizations because it lets us bring the book to the whole county! It’s important for us to reach outside the borders of our campus and the temporal boundaries of the undergraduate degree. Engagement programs like the Big Read produce demonstrable, positive communal effects and are essential to Purdue’s mission as a land-grant university.

Reading is very important. It provides demonstrable benefits: cognitive (increased knowledge, enlarged vocabulary, improved writing, sharpened memory and concentration), health-related (reduced stress, enhanced brain elasticity and functioning, prevention against mental decline), and interpersonal (judgment and decision making, empathy and understanding). Literary studies in particular correlates to improved emotional intelligence as well as heightened reflection and tolerance for complexity or ambiguity. In a fast-paced digital world bombarding us with distractions, it’s more important than ever to slow down and make time for fiction and poetry.


Banner image by Ruben Hanssen, "Brass door knocker," Unsplash