The Blues' Book Club
By Rachel Gaylor
During long travel days, players often have downtime to kill. A group of FC Kansas City players decided last year to start what is now known as “Buk Klub.”
In 2016 during a long bus ride, goalkeeper Cat Parkhill had brought up the idea of starting a book club amongst the team, but she wanted it to have meaning. She wanted the team to be able to read and talk about topics that they can apply to their lives as professional athletes.
“We were looking to get something started,” defender Yael Averbuch said. “We wanted to start a group that talked about current events or read articles and we thought let’s stay a little more low-key and happy.”
The Buk Klub doesn’t actually read full-length books but reads short stories, intros to books as well as excerpts that Parkhill chooses. Each reading deals with certain themes including happiness, courage, perseverance, etc. They have a set of discussion questions that go along with the reading as well.
“The first stories we read were Helen Keller’s essays,” Parkhill said. “First one we read, I believe, was called Optimism. That was the first stuff we read and it was very interesting and I think others found it interesting as well.”
The group made up of Kansas City players meets weekly and there have been from six to 10 players that have come to the meetings to discuss. The questions range from what the author means, why the author wrote it and how they can apply what they have read to their daily life.
Becca Moros, a midfielder/defender, was with the team two years ago, went to Houston and then came back this season and was excited to be able to join the club.
“Last year I was talking to some friends and they said ‘we have a book club,’” Moros said. “And I said ‘What? You wait till I leave to have a book club?’ So, when I came back this year and they were resuming book club I had to join.”
Moros said that this year, the club has started out a little slow, but her favorite part isn’t the reading but the discussion aspect.
“The most fun part has been listening to my teammates talk,” Moros said. “There are three or four people in the club who weren’t here when I was here two years ago, so they are new teammates to me. And to kind of hear how they think and what’s interesting to them and to hear their stories, it’s the best.”
Averbuch, who enjoys the reading, echoed that the discussions she has with her teammates are her favorite part.
“Honestly, the reason I do it is because I like to have a conversation with my teammates,” Averbuch said. “I like to get to know people who maybe I wouldn’t ever end up having a deep conversation with. We end up sharing things about our personal lives and relate that to the reading- that’s what I love about it. I get to know people and connect with them personally.”
Parkhill, who is currently reading Plutarch’s essay on contentment, honestly finds joy in reading along with her teammates.
“I enjoy reading things,” Parkhill said. “I read a lot of things on my own. I find that it’s a good way to learn, especially about other things. But I also enjoy sharing that and trying to make sense of the ideas with other people as well. It’s very rewarding because these are useful things, I think, into making the best life you can.”
Contentment link: https://books.google.com/books?id=BWiDjxaZy00C&pg=PT248&lpg=PT248&dq=plutarch+essay+on+contentment&source=bl&ots=20Y6MDsc-N&sig=efFkOy1TA3qPsLchWXGO2DR9nNw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjztfWd5NTUAhULw4MKHQHvATEQ6AEILTAC#v=onepage&q=plutarch%20essay%20on%20contentment&f=false
Optimism essay: https://archive.org/details/optimismessay00kelliala
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