Professor encourages leisure reading revival

Students%2C+Christine+Seite%2C+21%2C+business+law+major+and+Jade+Wonts%2C+21%2C+CTVA+major+studying+in+the+new+Gohstand+reading+room.+Photo+Credit%3A+Macie+Bennet%2FThe+Sundial
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Professor encourages leisure reading revival

Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Melisa Fumbarg

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Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Students, Christine Seite, 21, business law major and Jade Wonts, 21, CTVA major studying in the new Gohstand reading room. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

 

The new reading room and lounge is dedicated to Robert and Maureen Gohstand. This new spot is among many locations for students to relax or study.  Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

The new reading room and lounge is dedicated to Robert and Maureen Gohstand. This new spot is among many locations for students to relax or study. Photo Credit: Macie Bennet/The Sundial

Few things can replicate the feeling of opening a book and letting the words sink in to create a lasting impression on the reader.

The Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room was created in order to address the lack of leisure reading which is all-too-common among busy college students. The reading room was a vision Gohstand had for a long time. He and his wife created an endowment to purchase books and contribute to the room.

From an early age retired CSUN geography professor and library volunteer Robert Gohstand would read as a recreational activity. He grew up during a period of conflict in China when children would immerse themselves in their books to distract themselves from the realities of the time.

“Through reading, I was transported to other places, other frames of mind, other points of view, reading opened up the world to me,” Gohstand said. “I was an adventurous boy so I enjoyed imaginary adventures and I was addicted to reading at an early age.”

One of Gohstand’s early favorites is the World War II love story, The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. This particular book has had a great influence on his personal life and what would become his future path as he joined the Navy Reserve and rose in the ranks to captain.

“We created this space so people could relax and enjoy the pleasures of reading that is not dedicated to a particular objective,” Gohstand said. “You’re not supposed to study, it would be nice if you just came and read a book and just relaxed.”

Students are encouraged to use the reading room as a space for personal time.

“I love reading, I’ve been going to the library ever since I was in elementary school,” said Nam Kim, 21, junior, accounting major. “I started to like it because it’s quiet, and it’s a place to read books, relax, and have your personal time,” said Kim.

In the future, Gohstand would like to expand the collection to more than 4,000 books.

“We hope that in years to come many generations of students and the public will come and enjoy the collection and will find books that they enjoy reading for pleasure”

For more information on the reading room or to fill out a request for a specific book, visit http://library.csun.edu/leisure-reading-room. The reading room is located on the West Wing of the second floor in the Oviatt Library.