@reiver

My Difficulty With Book Clubs

I have a difficulty participating in book clubs :-) Yet, somehow I have ended up in 2 book clubs.

One of the book clubs is a computers science & software engineering book club. The other is actually a political book club, that's not doing politics but instead doing evolutionary psychology, anthropology and genetics.

These are all topics I am interested in.

I was nudged to join each book club by friends. (Both for the former. And for the latter.) And really, I see it as an excuse to hang out and have an interesting conversation about topics that I am interested in. Which I enjoy.

Yet, I still have difficulty with book clubs.

It is not the reading per se, that I have difficulty with. To say that I read a lot would be an understatement. I can read and absorb hundreds and hundreds of pages on (non-fiction) highly technical topics quite easliy. And I enjoy it!

My difficulty with book clubs is that I am learning on someone else's schedule.

When I normally read, I go off on tangents, a lot! This is what it is like when I read:

  • I might start reading one book.
  • Notice it refers to a scholarly paper, and the go read that paper.
  • See a topic discussed in the paper that I'm not familiar with, and spend some time reading everything I can to learn the topic.
  • Return back to the original book and read another huge chunk of it.
  • Get an idea (from the reading) for something, and want to spend some time researching it.
  • Get back to reading the book, and read another huge chunk of it.
  • Notice that the book has references another book a number of times.
  • Go read that other book. (And go through this same process with this book too.)
  • Get back to reading the (original) book, and read another huge chunk of it.
  • (In some cases) get an idea for some technology I could create, and spend some time creating it.
  • Get back to reading the book, and read another huge chunk of it.
  • Etc.

I learn a lot when I read this way. But neither book clubs (or university or high school, for that matter) lend themselves to this style.

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