Frequently Asked Questions

What is Grey Havens Group?

Grey Havens Group, Inc. is a Colorado nonprofit that promotes creative and critical thinking through literature and popular culture. We use a holistic, Socratic discussion method to help people get the most out of literature and of life. We also have a lot of fun!

Our values are literacy, imagination, community, and inclusion.

Where did you get your name? 

We take our name from a harbor in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, a place where ships depart to the Undying Lands, a place that connects the everyday to the extraordinary. The idea is that we are learning to live our lives with one foot in this world and one foot beyond it so that we can look upon ourselves with philosophical distance, seeing what we might not notice until we step back from it, understanding what we might not understand until we look at it with both logic and imagination. This is how we become philosophers or lovers of wisdom (philo-love, sophia-wisdom).

reading-day-151

Book Discussion Meetings

What books do you discuss?

We mostly discuss books in the science fiction/fantasy genre. Click here to learn why.

Click here for more information about our current discussion series, including which book and chapters we will be discussing next!

What if I am just not that into science fiction and fantasy?

It’s true that most of our discussions revolve around books with space or wizards or both, but we also examine other kinds of literature. Check our out Contemplative Reading and Philosophy in Public Spaces events by viewing our calendar.

We believe that literature is a lens that allows us to see the world in a more thoughtful and compassionate way. Our discussions are designed to get people thinking and feeling more deeply. That is its own kind of magic!

When and where do you meet?

Throughout Boulder and Weld County! We host Harry Potter discussions for grownups on the first Monday of every month from 6-8 p.m. J.R.R. Tolkien discussions take place on second Mondays at the same time. These groups meet at our office, 303 Atwood St., Habitat for Humanity Building in Longmont. Other discussions take place at libraries, art galleries, businesses, etc. Click here for a calendar of events including locations.

 

How old do I have to be to participate?

Our adult book discussions are designed for ages 18 and up.

Interested in book discussions for children and teens or in multi-generational programming? Take a look at our Prefects and Junior Prefects Group and learn more about Grey Havens YA!

Do I have to be a member? 

While our literary and philosophical discussions are fueled by camaraderie, there is no official membership for adults. We think newcomers will be surprised by how quickly and easily they feel at home. We also hope that those who have been away from our discussions for a while will feel as if they never left!

Even though we do not maintain official membership rosters, we still thrive on your ongoing support. Click here to make a financial contribution to help keep the conversation flowing.

How much reading should I do for each meeting? 

We follow the principle of Slow Reading-Close Reading so that we can get the most out of each book we read. We usually only discuss one or two chapters at each meeting. Check out the pages for Grey Havens Reading Group and Godric’s Hollow Group or like us on Facebook to find out what we will be reading next.

I didn’t have time to do the reading. Can I still come to the discussion?

Yes! Life is busy. Our book discussions are a chance to step back from all that for a couple of hours. We begin each meeting with a brief recap of the chapter(s) under discussion. After that, the conversation takes place on multiple levels, including but not limited to:

  • the literal/narrative (what is happening in the story)
  • the literary/aesthetic (appreciating the storytelling craft and its effect on us)
  • the communal (what the story has come to mean to others, the communities and traditions that exist around the story)
  • the philosophical (what the story tells us about the nature of reality and what it means to be human)
  • the personal (how the story changes us)

This means that our conversations are so rich that everyone has something to contribute, even if the story isn’t fresh in your mind.

I love the movies/TV show but I haven’t read the books yet. Can I still come to the discussions?

Yes! We are interested in all the ways people tell stories. The only requirement for participation is curiosity.

Does it cost anything to participate? 

Our book discussions are always free but we welcome your support for all of the ways that we carry out our mission in our community.

star-trek-laughs