Reading with a Purpose

“Books are door-shaped portals carrying me across oceans and centuries, helping me feel less alone.”
– Margarita Engle, Tula (“Books are door-shaped”)

Just about a year ago in August 2022, I established a personal goal of reading more – specifically one book per month.  This was a way for me to refocus on personal development, learning new ideas and ways of looking at the ideas I already have, and also to get away from more destructive habits that were taking up my time such as social media.  I’m proud to say that our CFKI Book Club has now been reading and meeting for a year, and it has been a great experience to connect with members of our community on all kinds of topics.  We’ve read books on outdoor adventure (and catastrophe), inspiring books on personal struggles and growth, books on social issues like the tug of social media and the psychology of interacting with strangers.  We’ve read relatively new books and some dating back to WWII and the experience of concentration camps.

All of the books we’ve read have been recommended by CFKI Book Club members, so if none of these themes sound like a good time to you, throw a book out to the group, and we’ll read it!  We’re definitely not too big to accept new members (averaging about 3-5 members per month), and would love to get new perspectives.  The idea is always to be reading different stuff to open up our minds and have an interesting dialogue – maybe even debate – with actual human beings.
To that effect, one of our new members this month (what’s up, Mark!) suggested that we start meeting in person rather than Zoom calls, to encourage more of a social aspect and be able to communicate more effectively with each other.  Our next meeting, in the beginning of October, will be at the Kent Island Yacht Club!
We’ll be discussing the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.  It was written in the 1930’s and set in the year 2540 as a dystopian warning of what can happen if we allow ourselves to be constantly fed mind-numbing pleasure, vs allowing for creativity and free thought.  I think – I haven’t read it yet but that’s the vibe that I get from reading the plot spoiler!

Finally, as a side benefit to reading more, I hope to get my kids to notice and to disconnect from the phone in favor of reading, which I think we all can agree is more developmentally important for young brains as well as old.  And if I want my kids to read more, when we get those rare fleeting moments where we are around each other and have time to chat, wouldn’t it be better if I had a book in my hands rather than my phone?


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