After finishing some of the books I am reading now, I intend to start incorporating ecological literature into my monthly selections. In my older age I have slowed my reading pace, which allows me to layer the books I read. I used to read each book at once, whole, sometimes gulping it down in a reading that lasted far into the night and, if the book had heft, deliciously consumed my weekends. Now I graze through a pile, manage one or two chapters a day, annotate, highlight, and write occasional comments in the margins. I’m not very good at the annotating part yet, but it’s helpful for finding the fascinating sections later.
After a lifetime of mostly reading novel, with some biographies, spiritual-writing, and a little history, I added books of poetry to my reading practice in 2016. Now I intend to add books that explore climate change, nature, and ecology in a variety of genres.
Sometimes I think it’s ridiculous to add a new intellectual pursuit to my life at age 70. My prime years of learning are past. I remember them fondly. Undergraduate papers intensively researched and painstakingly written in Madison. Days and nights of reading and writing in hot airless rooms in Austin. A kitchen table in Athens covered with sheets of paper for practicing calculus problems. How much time have I left to learn? It doesn’t matter: I’m alive, so I proceed in the hope that reading will help me see the future more clearly. It might reveal a path that leads to even more hope.
Ecology book clubs are, apparently, common. Here are some that may give me ideas about what to read next.
- University of Minnesota. College of Biological Sciences. Ecology Book Club
- Rochester Museum and Science Center. Eco-Book Club
- Earthwatch. 23 Must-Read Science Books About the Environment, Chosen by Earthwatch Scientists
- Institute for Social Ecology. Online Courses
- World Migratory Bird Day. Bird Book Club
- Literati Bookstore. Eco Book Club
- Teaneck Public Library. Eco Book Club
- West Michigan Environmental Action Council. Grand Rapids. Environmental Book Club
- Good Reads Environmental Book Club