Reading Clubs

Last November, as current events and erratic moguls tested the limits of major social platforms, we at New York Review of Architecture started a campaign to bring back our favorite social platform: tables. 

The response was overwhelming. Literally, we almost overwhelmed our local post office when we showed up with a cart laden with almost a thousand issues of NYRA. We sent copies to readers who placed them on tables at schools of architecture at UT Austin, MIT, the University of Utah, the Illinois School of Architecture at Urbana-Champaign, Penn State, NJIT, RISD, GSAPP, Sci-Arch, Pratt, U. Michigan, the Harvard GSD, and Loughborough University in Leicestershire. We sent it to tables in offices at the offices of ZGF Architects, Google’s Design Team, Skolnick, Steven Holl Architects, and Cookfox. Issues made it onto tables from the Pallas Gallery in San Francisco to Interference Archive in Brooklyn to the Design Museum in London. Perhaps our favorite was MVRDV, which asked for a packet for their New York themed holiday party.

So we are ready to take this to the next level: We would like to encourage our readers to explore the full functionality of a table. See unlike our other gadgets—watches, phones, computers—that really work best with just one person, many tables are in fact sized such that you can actually share them with others. In fact, a table often works better, surrounded by a group of friends or even strangers. 

But do not take our word for it: try it yourself. Convene a pop-up reading club. 

Tables: great place for conversation. Or. Reading, to avoid conversation.

Here is how it works:

First, fill out this form.

We will then send you a free packet of NYRA issues to put on your table (or tables). 

When you receive the packet, convene a reading club (or! Bring it to one you are a part of already). It could be a group of coworkers, fellow students, a few friends, your room-mate, your crush, maybe just you and your cat. You can read the issue from cover to cover, pick just one essay (this may be wiser) or even a dispatch from SKYLINE or a mini-review from shortcuts, or not read it all, simply using the reading club as an excuse to gather. We will have no idea. 

Depending on demand, we may not be able to send issues to everyone who fills out the form. We will also prioritize requests from subscribers over non-subscribers.

If you take a photo of your reading club and send it to us or share it through other, lesser social platforms, that is just pure gravy.

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Email *
Full Name *
Would you like to receive a free packet of issues of New York Review of Architecture, so you can convene a reading club around your table? *
Where is your table? (Or tables?) *
For instance: City College of New York, the Hungarian Pastry Shop, the reading room at the Salt Lake City Public Library, or President Biden’s desk in the Oval Office (though you really should stop getting freebies and sign up for your own subscription, Joe).
Who do you plan on inviting to your reading club? *
You can leave this blank or just totally make up an answer if you are not sure yet.
How many issues would you like us to send in your packet? *
If, say, your table is in a major office with hundreds of employees, it may make sense to send a lot of issues. We will make final decisions on how many to send based on demand and availability.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your table, or its location?
Is it a quirky design? Unusually located? A regular gathering place for a celebrated (though not yet known) circle of poets and authors? This is an optional question.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your reading club?
Does it already exist? Does it have a name?
Are you a subscriber? *
Anyone can sign up for a packet! If demand is high, we will prioritize sending packets to subscribers, but if you have a particularly irresistible table, that will be decisive. 

If you plan to sign up for a subscription (just $5!) after filling out this form, please check yes.
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