OGB Membership FAQ
In Podcast #55, Scott and Karl address these questions are more. These are the show highlights.
How long does it take to go through a book?
Most books are completed in a month. We build the reading goals around what the average person can accomplish given 3 hours a week, 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week (with your cell turned off).
But it depends entirely on the book. Some of them, you have to go slower. Some of them, you have to quicken your pace. For example, we spend 2 months on Aristotle’s Ethics which is only 120 pages.
Scott says, “It’s not necessarily the reading that dictates how long we spend on a book, but how much discussable stuff is in there.”
When we are reading the likes of Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas, we’re covering some pretty dense material. Herodutus, on the other hand, we go through rather quickly.
Karl sums it up nicely, “The questions of virtues and ethics deserve a little more attention than what Xerxes had for breakfast. “
Can we stop a membership at any point?
Yes, after 90 days. Keep in mind you receive 2 books in the first month when our expenses are the highest. We ask that you stay with us, experience a few seminars, and give it a real shot before throwing in the towel.
Is it possible to obtain these books on your own?
We do not offer a discounted subscription where you provide your own books.
We select a text that we think is a good one and update you with weekly reading goals. We want everyone to literally be on the same page, reading from the exact same book, especially during seminar discussion.
What will reading the books on this list do for me?
Scott says, “It’ll ruin the life you’ve got but you’ll get a different one.”
He continues, “If you read them in earnest and you take them seriously and actually go to the seminar, they will make you address the bedrock questions behind so many of your opinions. A lot of the opinions that we have and the beliefs we hold are poured in our ear between birth and age 20 by school, state, church, by mom and day, and television. If you end up clinging to one of those beliefs, you’ll know why you did. It might push you off of some [your beliefs] but that could be a good thing.”
Can I join with a family or friend?
Yes. If you join you can request we put you in the same group.
How many people are in a seminar?
Can I go at my own pace?
We have about 50 seminars a month. If you are a member with us, you can go to any seminars you’d like. We have folks reading book 1 all the way through book 26, you are welcome to go to any.
How often do seminars meet?
Your group meets once per month.
How much is the reading load?
Although the page count varies, we try to stick to 3 hours of reading per week.
Karl says, “The bottleneck in your reading is not going to be how fast you read. It’s going to be the thinking.”
What if I’ve already read some of the books on the list?
It’s good, come back and do it again. You can’t read the Illiad too many times. Karl says, “A good book gets better on rereading.”
Can’t I just start a reading group at home?
Yes. Read this blog article on it. There are a number of people in our community who have a home group.
Do I need to have an advanced degree to understand what we do?
No! Karl says, “In fact, an advanced degree means you have sat in grad school for six years and satisfied the requirements. It is not a measure of independent thought. It’s a measure of doing what they tell you.”
David Bentley Hart says academic people are probably the most devoted to the fashion of the age. If you’re coming in without an advanced degree, you may see the Illiad a lot better.
How much does it cost?
$59 per month.
What if I’m out of the country?
We now have an option where you can buy a 6-12 months subscription with a slight discount, mostly for our international members. This way, customs don’t get in the way each month!