Discover more from Your Reading Life
Possibilities for Your Reading Life
After college, maybe wayyy after college
In the previous post on postgrad learning we ended with this spectrum:
In this post let’s start with it. I’m minding the gap here and positing “Your Reading Life” right in the middle of it. But of what might Your Reading Life consist? What’d be on offer to fill this learning gap?
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
I went on a company retreat a number of years ago. It was a small company so the whole team went. We worked some of the day, ate and drank together all day, and had a few conversational and outdoor activities scattered throughout the long weekend.
My partner went on a yoga retreat where she socialized, saw a bit of Hawaii and, of course, did a lot of yoga and meditation.
You can go on retreats centered around writing, personal growth, team-building, etc. Why not retreat for a whole week or weekend to read and dialogue about what you’re reading with others reading the same book? It’d be similar to an intensive in college I imagine…
DIY - You can plan it yourself or
Get a Consult - You can hit me up if you want a template agenda email@example.com
DIY - Get a group of your friends or people in your network or a chunk of your community together
Get a Consult - Email me up if you want a bit of help firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a reading retreat run by Your Reading Life, likely a bunch of randos to you but also likely interested in the book the retreat will focus on
One on Ones
I’ve had a book club going somewhat successfully for several years. Sometimes scheduling can be nearly impossible. As you add more people with busy lives the less likely you’re going to find a time and maybe even a book that works for everyone. This is the beauty of classes/schools. There’s an element of force. Money, grades, semester timelines not to mention the tyranny of a teacher/professor and their syllabus.
Thanks for reading Your Reading Life! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
If you’re convening just yourself and one other person all this becomes much much easier. You also get to talk through your thoughts and ideas and reactions to the book more than if you’re sharing an hour with 5 other people. Think of it as office hours with your professor. Maybe through Your Reading Life you can even meet an actual professor to talk through the book with.
DIY - Find someone you jive with, pick a book, set a date, pick a place, virtual or irl, maybe over brunch (my fave option)
Get a Consult - Book a reading life audit if you want some assistance
Book time with me on my calendar. You know I love talking through what you’re reading. If I have the time I’ll even read the book so I can be as familiar as you are.
One day I hope we’ll be able to link you with a real professor with some knowledge of the book. #goals
One-off Book Clubs
Like I’ve mentioned, much of my writing and thinking about this gap comes from great experiences I’ve had with a book club that sprang up out of nowhere one simple Sunday brunch with friends when I mentioned I was re-reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
The thing I’ve noticed over the years as people ask me what I’m doing over the weekend and I say I have a book club meeting, is lots of people think it’s cool, the thousand-yard-stare and say they should read more. They will also talk about book clubs they’ve experienced or know about and say that no one ever finishes the book and if everyone has finished it the conversation is rarely any good. So, here, I’m not talking about your average book club. I’m talking about a book club for realsies. One where everyone finishes the book. One where the conversation stays on topic. One where, you’re asking deeper and deeper questions that actually get to the heart of what the book is about and why it exists.
DIY - Suggest a book and a book club to a community you’re part of online or irl. Schedule it, pick a place, check in with people to make sure everyone’s still on target (especially important if the book is on the longer side).
Get a Consult - Email me up if you want to talk through your plan email@example.com
Join a Your Reading Life Book Club meeting if you’re interested in the book that month. This doesn’t exist yet FYI but you can email me if you have a group and a book you’d like to convene them around. I’m sure I can help.
Deep Dive Study Groups
One-offs are great. But sometimes you’re interested in a whole topic, not just a single book. Maybe you really want to read a whole gaggle of Platonic dialogues, really want to understand the context and social implications of crypto, or want to read a bunch of issues of Foreign Affairs magazine paired with Sapiens or a text by an expert in political economy. This version starts to look a lot like a classical “class” at a university. It could be a month-long or a quarter-long. You can put it together yourself or have us at Your Reading Life do it.
My favorite idea in this whole constellation of possibilities is pairing a book with a destination. I haven’t done it yet but the idea of reading 100 Years of Solitude in Colombia or The Odyssey somewhere on the Greek isles really tickles me.
DIY - The next time you’re picking a book you’ve always wanted to read consider where it takes place or where the author wrote it and if reading the book and talking it through on location would add to the learning experience.
Get a Consult of course. Email me to jam on ideas and possible plans.
Join a Your Reading Life Trip. We haven’t planned any yet. But that doesn’t matter. Let’s gooooooo!
These are the possibilities that lie in the gap between going back to school and sipping wine not talking about a book that no one read.