Reading Fortnights

A tradition existed at some of Britain’s older universities, whereby a group of students was invited (often during the summer vacation) to spend periods of time staying with a tutor usually in a secluded location (for example, a remote hunting lodge in the highlands of Scotland) for the purpose of quiet, undisturbed reading, breaking for occasional coffee or tea intermissions, and a simple mid-day meal. The company would include one or more older scholars who would guide the reading, or initiate discussion about the books being read.

This served several purposes:

It nurtured young students in the habit of calm and focused reading; it gave them the opportunity to do this with a group of peers, and thereby encounter new people with shared interests, and enter into fruitful communication with new ways of thinking; and all of this took place with the informal engagement and guidance of a more experienced reader.

Our reading fortnights will alternate between New Zealand and Hong Kong.