All matriculating first-year students (approximately 4,000) will receive a copy of Spare Parts from the university, and will read the book before heading to campus in the fall. Once they arrive on campus, students will engage in classroom discussions about the book in their first-year seminar classes.
Beyond the classroom, students will attend a variety of events related to the book. Joshua Davis will hold an on-campus public lecture on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m., and there will also be a public lecture series by members of the Kansas State community.
Spare Parts was read and reviewed by the K-State Book Network selection committee, which is comprised of 42 faculty, and students and staff from 18 colleges and units. Each year, the selection process entails a vote from the selection committee, a general campus vote (community members are able to vote online), and the Committee Provost’s approval. Out of the three books that made it to the final round of voting, Spare Parts was the overwhelming top choice.
The motto of the K-State Book Network is “A campus on the same page.” Kansas State University’s purpose behind its Common Reading Experience program (K-State First) is to provide a unifying experience to help first year students transition from high school to college. This is accomplished by using the book as the students’ shared experience, and the book is used to facilitate guided academic and social activities.
With universal themes like education and overcoming insurmountable odds as underdogs, Spare Parts was selected, in part, because the committee and K-State community believe that it is a book that will resonate with a diverse student body. “We believe every major, from engineering to English, will find something to connect with in the book,” explained Tara Coleman, chair of K-State Book Network and associate professor, K-State Libraries.