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Reading With Sea

A book club on your own time

I often find myself doing what I call: self-studies.  The way my mind works – it engulfs whatever current preoccupation it’s encountering.  If there is something that I am interested in, I have the immediate compulsion to obtain a stack of books on the subject and sit surrounded by them all while I divulge the information.

Typically, each year there just happens to be something that I want to deeply study.  It develops that these subjects or ideas are things that I want to reflect on and study for a long period of time, perhaps because I want to become well versed on the subject or I am attempting to form an educated opinion on a matter or a debate.  A lot of times one year’s self-study will be the result from a thought or question that had remained on my mind during the previous year.

I don’t know what this year’s self-study will be.  Last year was a philosophy I was attempting to create around balancing life.  The year before that was connecting.  The year before that was friendship.  The year before that was the book of Hebrews from the Bible.  It’s a random thing each year as my mind ponders a vast array of things even on a daily basis.  Sometimes, these self studies happen to be combinations of things I want to deepen my knowledge and experience in.  A long while back, I wanted to read about architecture.  From that point on I have had a new self study at least every year.  My bookshelves are full of collections of these studies.  In one section, there are my architecture books gathered, in another my books on Hebrews, on another all my philosophy books, on another all books by Ha Jin on another I have stacks and stacks of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series, which are my guilty pleasure reads.

This year I want to read all of Ayn Rand’s novels.  Not her philosophy, because I am already versed in Objectivism enough to curb my taste for it, but I love her novels.  That is a relatively easy endeavor, but I have gotten so use to doing yearly self-studies and the past year’s subjects have come to me naturally, so I am struggling not having one for this current year.  I feel as if they are journeys of some nature and not being on one right now gives me the feeling of being displaced in a way.

Do any of you ever have “self-studies” of any kind?  What are they like?



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