Goucher College - Applestein-Sweren Book Colllecting Prize Essays

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The competition encourages Goucher students to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives; to appreciate the special qualities of printed or illustrated works; and to read, research and preserve their collected works for pleasure and scholarship.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 33
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    Changing With the World
    (2023-02-24) Krist, Autumn
    While growth and change aren't the same thing, they are oftentimes hand in hand. For me and this collection, growth and change go hand in hand. This book collection started in about 2021 when I took a medical leave of absence from Goucher because of my mental health during online schooling. It was a scary moment of change and it was the most impactful moment of growth that I have had since going to college. Although I wasn't able to work in the jobs that I'd wanted to during my leave of absence, I'd made a promise to myself to keep learning. This presented itself in taking online courses about stuff that was in my interest and reading. The books and ephemera that I've gathered in my collection hit home to me and expanded my worldview and my thoughts on myself.
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    The Secrets to My Nancy Drew Collection
    (2023-02-24) Firestein, Joan
    I love Nancy Drew. Ever since I was in third grade and read The Mystery at Lilac Inn and The Hidden Staircase I have been hooked. Besides reading at least one book from almost every Nancy Drew series, I have seen every film and TV adaptation, and played all of the PC games. While her character has been a role model and inspiration for me, I have also gained inspiration and knowledge. My love of writing fiction comes from wanting to tell mystery stories; because of Jennifer Fisher, Nancy Drew historian and owner of a massive Nancy Drew collection, I discovered the occupation of a consultant; and lastly, I have learned so much about Nancy Drew both as a character and as the series.
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    My Father's House
    (2023-02) Finnigan, Reese
    The house I was raised in guided my interests. It’s thanks to my parents that I have a collection of books on rock and roll.
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    Reese's Rock and Roll
    Finnigan, Reese
    I think a lot of people assume that the years that make you into who you are happen when you’re a teenager. And, I mean, certainly, the teenage years are really formative; I think a lot of who I am was shaped by experiences I’ve had in the past few years. But I think that we start being shaped into who we are well before the dark days of high school. I don’t think we stop loving the things we loved when we were little kids, even decades later. My parents gave me a stuffed animal when I was a baby, and I still sleep with it every night, nearly two decades later. Similarly, the house I was raised in guided my interests. It’s thanks to my parents that I have a collection of books on rock and roll.
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    The Creative Lives of Bad Feminists
    (2022-03) Jackson, Morgan
    Books within this collection speak to the authors' experiences in various genres and modalities. I have organized the presentation of this collection into the following sections. (1) The Theory lays the foreground of the feminist ideology at play. (2) Poetry showcases emotional power. (3) Non-fiction and Autobiography; the heart and core of the collection. (4) What I call Soft Fiction and The Biomythography; re-imagining the self. This collection tells the lived experiences of those who are, as Maggie Nelson calls them, "my many gendered mothers of the heart." It is a tribute to those who have shown me what feminism can look like for marginalized groups, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community.