Hobbyist Academia #13
There are two new independent bookstores opening near my neighborhood, which is very exciting. I have a theory of why brick and mortars like Barnes & Noble are closing, but indie bookstores are thriving. Big box store bookstores are not satisfying a need for convenience or for community.
Shopping online, particularly from Amazon, is the easiest way to get a book. Shopping in person satisfies a need for feeling connected to your community and neighborhood. The big box stores exist at the intersection of expending effort to go to the store in person and also still feeling like you’re supporting a large conglomerate.
Indie bookstores bring authors to speak in your community, host poetry nights, and offer personal recommendations. They are places to gather, browse, and just be among the books.
Engage and Interact
Nat Eliason, writer of Infinite Play, is embarking upon a Great Books Project. He’s spending the next 5 years reading old classics at an impressive target pace of a book a week. He dives into his approach, inspiration, and guideposts. He’s also publicly tracking his progress in a Google Sheet.
I did some rabbit hole browsing on his Substack and found another interesting but unrelated piece he wrote this summer- it’s a useful analogy about how to create life environments for ourselves that enable us to live well.
Your Undivided Attention is the podcast from the Center for Humane Technology. The June 30th episode is called “An Alternative to Silicon Valley Unicorns” and the guests are Mara Zepeda and Kate “Sassy” Sassoon from the Zebras Unite Co-Op. They’re reimagining business, entrepreneurship, and the future of the economy.
What if we built businesses that grew responsibly and for the benefit of all stakeholders, not just investors and shareholders? What if we redefined what success looks like for a startup? What if we reorganized how funders and founders interact and co-create? Listen to the episode and explore the Zebras Unite website.
This week’s Startupy newsletter highlighted a really interesting piece about the often unexpected amount of detail that comes with looking at reality up close.
Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals and the writer of a weekly column in The Guardian until September of 2020, writes a twice-monthly email called The Imperfectionist. A recent edition of the email offers a handful of ideas Burkeman has had that didn’t seem like enough for full standalone posts, but still seemed worth sharing. They’re all great, but I think “scruffy hospitality” is my favorite.
Save This For Later
I follow Philosophy of Leisure on Instagram and recently discovered their Editor’s Letter. I’m excited to begin receiving the twice-monthly email.
I’ve added 8 books to the To Read list:
Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature by Zibby Owens
How the Future Works: Leading Flexible Teams to Do the Best Work of Their Lives by Brian Elliott, Sheela Subramanian, and Helen Kupp
All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns by Betty Gilpin
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention— And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
For You When I Am Gone: Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story by Steve Leder
The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift also by Steve Leder
The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to Make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa
If you enjoyed this, check out The Collection on my website.