One of the pains and pleasures of moving from a house is that things lost or put aside are found and so it comes about that I am reading the December 2012 Reed magazine, and two items spoke to my pleasure in a book group here in McMinnville. The first was a note in “Empire of the Griffin”: “This year expect to hear more about an online book club for Reedies everywhere.” The second was a remark by Suzanne Cassidy ’65 that at Reed her favorite class was Senior Symposium, “where students from different disciplines got together once a week to discuss books they were reading.”
I belong to a book club that meets for two hours, once a month, at the local senior center (good for those of us in our 80s and 90s who don’t drive at night). Rather than all of us reading an assigned book, we have chosen either a free choice or to read to an assigned theme. This way we have books on the Silk Road, books on the meaning of dreams, books about small Oregon towns founded on faith or progressive ideals. We bring books from the library or books of our own to lend out and to discuss and share. In past months we have talked about The Tenth Parallel, Stealth of Nations, For the Love of Physics, 1493, a biography on Cleopatra, and we share good suspense and mystery writers. Some of us also belong to more conventional book clubs with a chosen book discussed by all readers but as Suzanne wrote, “a multidisciplinary approach is more rewarding and richer.”
For me, in my 90s, it has given me access to books and ideas that I also find rewarding and rich outside my normal range of interest. So: thank you, Reed, for your December 2012 magazine.